Columbia, SC (WLTX) - NBA star Ray Allen has officially retired, as as his closing statement, he's talking about his time growing up as a teenager in Sumter County.
The 10-time All-Star announced his decision Tuesday on the website "The Players Tribune." And instead of a straightforward announcement, he wrote a personally penned statement called "Letter to My Younger Self."
In it, he spends a good amount of the time focusing on when he was 13-years-old and had just arrived in Dalzell, South Carolina. Allen's father was in the military and had just gotten stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, and Allen recalls how difficult it was being the new kid at school and in town.
" I wish I could tell you that it will get easier, and that you’re going to blend in, and that it’s going to be alright," Allen writes. "But you’re not going to fit in with the white kids, or the black kids … or the nerds … or even the jocks.
"You’ll be the enemy to a lot of people simply because you’re not from around there. This will be both the toughest and the best thing that will ever happen to you."
He talks about how he honed his basketball skills through hard work and dedication, and the difficulties he still had to overcome as he career progressed.
Allen played at Hillcrest High School in Sumter County (which no longer exists), then went on to college at UConn, and was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1996. He'd go on to play for the Seattle Supersonics, the Boston Celtics, and the Miami Heat, winning NBA titles with those last two franchises. He also won a gold medal in 2000.
(As another career accolade, Allen was also a News19 Player of the Week)
Allen leaves as the NBA's all-time leader in three-point field goals made. He also had a bit of acclaim in the movies, staring in Spike Lee's "He Got Game" in 1998 as the character "Jesus Shuttlesworth."
While his retirement was announced now, he actually hadn't played in the NBA since 2014, but had never officially said he was done with basketball.