UK Football

How siblings from New Jersey altered trajectory of two Kentucky programs

Kentucky football celebrates its Senior Day victory over Middle Tennessee

The University of Kentucky football team celebrates a 34-23 victory over Middle Tennessee State at Kroger Field on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.
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The University of Kentucky football team celebrates a 34-23 victory over Middle Tennessee State at Kroger Field on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.

Louisville and Kentucky fans likely don’t agree on much.

But after the stunning careers of UK senior linebacker Josh Allen and his sister Myisha Hines-Allen, a former star forward on the Cardinals’ women’s basketball team, the fan bases likely can agree to be grateful for the siblings from New Jersey.

“It’s neat to see: Two siblings, one can help one school do great and the other can help the other school do great. That just doesn’t happen,” Louisville Coach Jeff Walz said earlier this week as the fifth-ranked Cards prepare to take on No. 17 Kentucky on Sunday.

Hines-Allen, who graduated last season and was picked No. 19 by Washington Mystics in the 2018 WNBA Draft, was just the second player in Louisville history with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

Last season, Hines-Allen helped lead the Cardinals to a 36-3 record and a spot in the Final Four.

Josh Allen, Myisha’s younger brother, has picked up multiple national defensive player of the year honors this week, and is projected as a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2019.

One thing Walz always notices is that the siblings from Montclair, N.J., “have the same legs.

“Myisha’s leg strength was remarkable,” he continued, “and I watch Josh out there playing, it’s something else.”

On Friday, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound outside linebacker announced that he will play in the Citrus Bowl against Penn State on Jan. 1 in Orlando.

Allen has been on a tear this season for Kentucky with an SEC-best 14 quarterback sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles to go with his team-high 84 total tackles. He broke the Kentucky single-season and career sacks record (28.5) already this season.

“It’s been exciting for both fan bases to be able to sit there and have Myisha Hines-Allen do what she did for us in women’s basketball by getting us to a Final Four,” Walz added. “And then you’ve got her brother, Josh, has helped (UK) have, arguably, the best football season in many years.”

Sunday’s game between Louisville and Kentucky will include a toy drive where fans who present a toy to the KFC/Yum Center ticket office window will receive a $4 ticket to the game. The donated toys will go to the Family Scholar House in Louisville.

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