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Friday, June 24, 2011

Penn Coach Jerome Allen Has Some Fans in My House

My son attended a basketball camp at Pennsbury High School this past week. It was a great camp, four straight days of non-stop basketball, with the counselors being current and former Pennsbury H.S. basketball players, among them, all-time Pennsbury great Dalton Pepper, who recently transferred to Temple from West Virginia (and, to top that, Pennsbury and Temple alum Lavoy Allen made an appearance the same day the hometown 76ers drafted him in the second round). And two college coaches spoke to the kids -- the first day it was Temple's Fran Dunphy, and the second day it was Penn's Jerome Allen.

Allen made a point to say that he was reluctant to go and speak at a school whose colors are orange and black (and, believe me, if you live in or near Pennsbury, you see a lot of orange and black). He asked the crowd of kids if anyone knew why.

A bunch of kids raised their hands and answered incorrectly, guessing that perhaps Allen went to a rival high school in the area. When he looked to my son's side of the gym, he saw a friend of my son's point to my son (which was somewhat ironic, given that the friend's father went to Oklahoma State, whose colors are orange and black). So Coach Allen asked my son if he knew, and my son said, "Because they're Princeton's colors." Happy that my son answered correctly, Coach Allen started to hand my son a very nice Penn practice jersey. At which point my son offered that he knew because his father went to Princeton. Whereupon, Coach Allen playfully pulled the jersey back, but then he gave it to him.

It was a great moment, and my son wore the jersey proudly the other night. (After all, two of his grandparents went to Penn and his father -- me -- rooted hard for the Quakers when he was a kid). There might well be some limits to the wearing of the jersey -- such as I don't think it would be wise for him to wear it in Jadwin Gym when Penn is playing Princeton, but it's as much a memory of a great camp and a unique moment with a great guy in Jerome Allen as it is about the Penn Quakers.

At least I can hope that, right, kids being their own people after a while?

Thanks to the folks who ran the camp and Coach Allen for a great day for my son.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think Allen is hard-nosed enough (if that's what it takes) to recruit, cajole and "game" his team back to the top? He is a humble, kind prince of the game, but Penn fans are a demanding bunch for better or worse.

7:45 PM  

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