Ray Allen spent three seasons at UConn, which is three times as long as he would have if he came through Storrs, Conn., now. Yet even with his extended stay, he never was able to lead the Huskies to an NCAA championship.
It’s a hole on his illustrious college resume that Allen recognizes.
Allen was at AT&T Stadium to see his alma mater’s 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the title game Monday night, getting an up-close look at UConn’s fourth national crown since he left a year early in 1996. Now nearing the end of a long and decorated NBA career, Allen, 38, marveled at how Shabazz Napier was able to recreate the drama former Huskies guard Kemba Walker supplied three years ago.
“They have so much of the same style of play,” Allen told SI’s Greg Bishop. “They’re both so unstoppable out there. They both did what I didn’t — bring a championship to UConn.”
Things have gone OK for Allen, though. He has two NBA championship rings, winning one with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and a second with the Miami Heat last season. He has hit more 3-pointers than any player in NBA history and remains the fourth-leading scorer in UConn history. He’s probably ticketed for the Hall of Fame after he retires.
But in at least one respect, Napier and Walker always will have bragging rights over him.