One in a series of articles on basketball players this season.
Getting to know an All-Star
By Dalton Koller
Knightly News Reporter
Quadere Allen is the starting guard/forward for the Central Penn College Knights men’s basketball team and one of its captains.
Allen is also a former All-United States Collegiate Athletic Conference First Team winner.
As he and the rest of the Knights prepared for this season, he spoke with me about memories of his basketball career, and about his goals and aspirations for this season, along with some details about his future basketball career.
Allen first talked about who or what got him into basketball. He said he comes from a family of basketball players and that his uncle played at the professional level.
“Growing up, I looked up to him as like my big brother,” Allen said. “So, when he was playing basketball, that always pushed me to want to be like him.”
Allen said that when he was playing in his hometown of Philadelphia, he had a couple of coaches who would give him rides to and from practice, and just them doing those little things for him helped him continue to pursue his love for basketball.
Allen said fellow Knight Rodney Ross got him to come to play for the Knights, for which he transferred from a Division II school. After COVID-19 affected his transfer year, he said he was weighing his options about what he wanted to do.
That was when Ross contacted him about coming to CPC.
“He was telling me that he was at Central Penn, and it’s a good opportunity for me, and we can try to do something that we never did together at this school,” Allen said.
His proudest moment or achievement in his playing career?
“(Leaving) my mark, being the third person at my high school to have our name on a banner,” he said of his years at George Washington High School, from which comedian Kevin Hart also graduated.
This season, he aims to become a two-time All-USCAA First Team player and to help his team win more games than last year.
He added that he wants to improve from last year, which says a lot, because he had a very good year. In 24 games last year, Allen averaged 19.4 points per game, with 6.8 rebounds per game and 1.7 assists per game. He hopes he can improve on those impressive numbers and, if so, that would truly be something special.
His goal for the team is to win more games than in the last two years. Last year, the team went 11-14 and the year before that, 5-13.
“This year, I want to make that dream come true and just have our record show how good we really are,” Allen said.
What about the Knights’ chance of making a run at the national championship this year?
“Absolutely,” he said. “This team, these young guys that we have, a lot of new faces, a lot of eager guys that’s ready to get out there, ready to get to work, and having someone like Rodney back out there on the court with me, is definitely a plus, so I think that this is going to be a good year and we can definitely make a run to the national (championship).”
How have incoming players gelled with returning players?
“That’s important to have that chemistry early,” Allen said. “Having guys that haven’t been here buy into the program with guys that have already been here, that’s something that takes a little time and that takes developing. But I think that the young guys or the transfer guys that’s coming in, I think that everybody’s definitely going to buy in, at least after our first couple games, and see what needs to be done to win.”
He then talked about how excited he and his teammates are to go on the road to play Appalachian State, a Division I team, on Dec. 5.
“Man, that’s like a dream, right there,” he said, “being able to finally have a Division I game where we’re going to be able to go out there and show what we can do. It’s very exciting, and I can’t wait to get out there.”
So, what about after Central Penn?
Allen said he loves playing basketball, but he first wants to get his degree, which is something he promised his family.
But after he graduates, he said he would “try to test the waters and try to make some money (playing basketball). Anywhere I can, and as much as I can. I’m trying to make some money playing basketball. That’s my dream.”
If you want to learn more about Quadere Allen and the rest of the Central Penn Knights men’s basketball team and season schedule, visit the school’s athletics page at www.centralpennknights.com.
Koller is secretary of The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.
Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.