High School Coach Had A Hand In Ray Allen's Career

James Smith says he wasn't surprised Ray Allen achieved success at a high level because of the amount of time Allen spent working on his game.

Before Ray Allen made his mark as the NBA's all-time leader in 3-point field goals, he was helping Hillcrest of Dalzell win the 1993 state championship.

His coach at the former school went on to win state titles at Scott's Branch before moving on to Airport High School. Smith is now the associate head coach at W.J. Keenan High School who says he plans on handing out copies of Allen's retirement letter to his players.

Allen announced his retirement on a website with an essay entitled "Letter To My Younger Self", Allen mentioned the tough times he went through as the new kid in town when he arrived in Sumter County. His father was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base and Smith says there were some times when Allen felt he did not fit in with his new classmates.

Allen eventually settled into his new school and went on to lead Hillcrest to the 1993 title. After playing at UCONN, Allen went on to the NBA where he excelled for 18 years, winning championships with the Celtics and Heat. 

Smith says he isn't surprised Allen has put up a Hall of Fame resume because of the amount of time he spent in the gym working on his game.


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