When Romen Martin signed last week to continue his education and basketball career at Harding University, it was noted that he scored 1,330 points. His teammate Calvin Allen, the Bryant Hornets point guard over the last three years, told their coach Mike Abrahamson that he went back over the films of the games and determined that he assisted on 76 percent of Martin’s baskets.
Though Allen later acknowledged that he was joking and he hadn’t done that research, the thing is, it was believable.
Allen was the facilitator as the point guard for the Bryant Hornets over the last three seasons. He started his career as a freshman, getting a call up to the varsity after the freshman season was over.
His leadership was evident in that he was a three-year captain as well. The Hornets won 54 games in those three seasons including 22 in 2015-16 when they came a basket away from advancing to the Class 7A State championship. They reached the State tourney all three years.
As a senior, he averaged five assists a game including a career high of 10 against Little Rock Central. According to Abrahamson, he had five assists or more in 17 of the Hornets’ 29 games. He also averaged 11 points a game including 21 against Fort Smith Northside in the State Tournament quarterfinals when the eventual champion ended the Hornets’ season, 69-56.
“It seemed so short,” Allen said of his career at Bryant, “but I’ve got a lot of memories I’ll always cherish. Now it’s time to take it to the next level.”
And the next level for Allen, the son of Katrina Adams and Calvin Allen Sr., officially signed to continue his education and basketball career the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., just outside of Branson.
He chose Ozarks after considering Texas A&M-Commerce, Harding, Arkansas Tech and Central Baptist College.
“When I went up there for my visit a couple of weeks ago, I just loved it,” Allen related. “I loved the culture they had up there. So I chose it.”
And it looks like he’ll be right in the mix for playing time from the start.
“They told me they’re looking for a starting point guard,” he said of head coach Steve Shepherd and his staff.
“A leader, an awesome high-character person who was easy to coach every single day,” said Abrahamson when asked what the Bobcats were gaining in Allen. “That goes a long way. That’s a lot. He’s a hard worker, someone who’s going to continue to get better. It’s just the kind of person he is. Whatever they want him to do, he’s going to do it.
“In a basketball sense, he’s a guy that can really get to the basket well, has become a really good shooter, defends guards well and, really, will set the tone for how a team’s going to play,” he added. “He not only gets the assists and hits the shots but he’s not scared to take on a challenge defensively. He dives on the floor for loose balls. He takes charges. He’s a great teammate.”
After three years with Allen set at the point, the Bryant coach admitted, “It’s a little bit scary because three years ago, he took the ball in his hands and he had it for three seasons. Now, he’s leaving. So we’ve got some things to work through.
“He’s been a coach on the floor,” he continued. “He’s called plays. He’s called out-of-bounds plays. He’s called offenses. He’s called defenses. We’re going to miss him. He did a lot for us and won a lot of games for us.
“In addition to carrying a lot of weight, he’s also one of our most improved players,” Abrahamson stated. “He went from a player that would not shoot the ball — would not shoot it — to a guy that every time he got open, we thought it was going in.”
Allen’s top scoring night was a 29-point effort in which he hit Little Rock Catholic with eighth 3’s as a junior.
“I just try to see what the team needs from me,” Allen explained. “Some games, I’m going to have to score more points. Some games I defer to my teammates. I just wanted to win. That’s the bottom line.”
Looking back, Allen said of being moved up as a freshman, “It was kind of crazy being a freshman playing with all older guys. I got adjusted to it, I guess.
Asked if he could go back and give that freshman that he was some advice, he said, “I would just say, ‘Don’t complicate simple. Simple doesn’t mean it’s easy because anything you want is going to be hard if it’s worth something.’”