One of the most impressive careers in Kentucky high school basketball history has come to an early and unfortunate end.
Pendleton County star Dontaie Allen — a UK signee — was diagnosed Wednesday with a torn ACL, two weeks after being injured during a game. Coach Keaton Belcher told the Herald-Leader that Allen will undergo surgery for the injury, and he’ll obviously miss the rest of his senior season, bringing an end to his high school career.
“I hate it for Dontaie,” Belcher said. “Not only because he’s had a great start to his senior year, but he’s just a really good person. Nobody deserves this, but especially him. Especially him. He’s put in so much work to get here, and I thought he was on pace to have maybe the greatest high school basketball statistical career of anybody that’s ever played.”
Allen, who officially signed with UK in November, was averaging 42.9 points and 14.2 rebounds per game this season — leading the state in both categories — and Pendleton County had a 9-3 record going into its game against Cooper on Dec. 22, the night Allen suffered the injury. He sat out the team’s next three games but was hopeful of returning to the court soon.
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Pendleton County will play at Sayre on Friday night, its only game in Lexington this season.
Allen scored 3,255 points for his high school career and had a realistic shot at becoming only the second player in Kentucky boys’ high school basketball history to surpass 4,000 points before this injury. Kelly Coleman is the state’s all-time leading scorer with 4,337 points.
Allen posted a message on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.
“Dear Senior Tour, you’re being cut short,” he said. “You brought many blessings and hardships to me that I wouldn’t trade for the World. God blessed me with talent and work ethic, but he’s not going to let me stop now.. thank you all!! I will be back & better than ever!”
Allen finishes his career as the 10th leading scorer in state history. He also grabbed 1,228 career rebounds (22nd all time) and blocked 284 shots (14th all time), in addition to 357 career assists and 191 career steals. He was seventh all time in made field goals (1,122) and made free throws (765) and was among the state’s all-time leading three-point shooters, hitting 246 threes and making 37.7 percent of his shots from behind the arc.
The 6-foot-6 wing earned a UK scholarship offer in August — and committed to the Cats immediately — after a stellar summer with his M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs travel team. He is the No. 74 overall prospect in the class of 2019, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
“I’ve been a fan my whole life,” Allen told the Herald-Leader a few days before his commitment. “Growing up a Kentucky kid, you’ve gotta be a UK fan.”
Allen will start the rehab process after his surgery, which will be performed Tuesday in Lexington, and should be on UK’s campus this summer.
“Dontaie is one of Kentucky’s finest,” UK Coach John Calipari said after Allen signed in November. “I love Dontaie’s ability to score the ball in different ways. He’s got a lot of skills with the ball in his hands and athleticism to play above the rim. I’m always excited anytime there’s a player from our state who can come in and help this program and have an impact. Dontaie does all that for us.”
Calipari tweeted Wednesday that he had just spoken with Allen, his first in-state recruit in more than five years.
“Feel bad because he was having a monster year but like I told him, there are always bumps in the road,” Calipari said. “Adversity is a part of sport, especially basketball. You come out stronger by dealing with it head on!!!! I look forward to having him on our campus a lot more now!”