Size can’t slow Allen, and academics won’t

first_img “Height was really not an issue in recruiting Allen,” Mosley said. “We see 5-foot-9 guards (in the NAIA) every other night. We were impressed with Allen’s maturity as a point guard, his quickness and his speed. There were some questions about his defense and how he would handle the next level physically, but he was a good player and a good person, and we were happy to sign him.” Allen would never play for The Master’s. NAIA regulations dictate an athlete must finish in the top 50 percent of his class in grade-point average or score higher than 860 on the SAT. Allen, who maintained a 3.0 GPA in his senior year at Highland, acknowledges he struggled in school following his move from Portland, Ore., just before his freshman year, and his SAT score was not high enough. Although The Master’s provided its prospect with tutors, Allen was unable to recover from this slow academic start, and the scholarship offer was revoked. He enrolled in classes at Antelope Valley College but is not playing basketbal, instead concentrating on improving his academic standing. “In high school, I didn’t really focus like I should have in the classroom,” Allen said. “I could have done a lot better, but I spent most of my time with basketball. It’s still a good situation for me here at junior college, where I am living at home and have the opportunity to improve my grades.” Allen is playing in adult basketball leagues at a local gym and insists his game is improving. He is considering playing next season at Antelope Valley, Cal State Northridge or The Master’s. Mosley says The Master’s would likely welcome Allen back once his eligibility concerns are solved. Sandy Thomas, Allen’s mother, a guard at Oregon State in the early 1980s, is confident her son will thrive when given a second chance. “I can’t begin to lie,” Thomas said. “(The situation with The Master’s) really hurt (Tomoreo). But people underestimate him. He has a natural drive to succeed, and although most schools are interested in taller guards, (Tomoreo) is quicker than a lot of guards, and he will put in all the necessary work in the gym.” Said Allen: “It’s really up in the air as far as where I’ll end up next. The sky’s really the limit, and I’m still working hard on my game.” Kevin Connelly, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “I went ahead and scored (a career-high) 41.” Such performances drew the attention of local college basketball scouts. Early in the 2004-05 season, The Master’s College, an NAIA program in Santa Clarita, offered Allen a full scholarship. The point guard accepted immediately. Highland coach Jeff Smith said he believes Allen would have been recruited by top Division I programs if he was in the 6-foot-2 range, but he thought The Master’s was a good fit for Allen. Smith said Allen’s decision was heavily influenced on a recruiting trip when he met with Mike Penberthy, a former The Master’s star and Lakers guard in 2001-02. The Master’s assistant coach John Mosley said Allen’s lack of size was secondary to what he saw on the court. The Mustangs were Excited to have landed so skilled a player. Short stack. Sawed off. Vertically challenged. At just 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, playing a sport dominated by giants, former Highland High boys’ basketball star Tomoreo Allen has heard it all. His 29.5 points-per-game average last season was the best mark in the Southern Section and second-best in the Southland – behind Grant of Van Nuys’ Mike Danielian at 30.3 – but Allen was not immune from epithets regarding his height. “I’ve been looked down upon (because of my height),” Allen said. “In the (Southern Section Div. I-AA playoffs) last year, Silverado (of Victorville) had a 6-foot-10 guy who basically fouled me as hard as he could on the first play of the game. He said, ‘You’re not going to score 30 points on us, little man.” last_img read more

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