The Unfinished Roller Coaster Journey of Jordan Allen to the NBA

How a small town hooper from Dover, Delaware is slowly turning his dream into a reality

Brandon McIntyre

(Jordan Allen securing possession of the basketball during a G-League game/via Instagram @thej5show_)

Dover, DE – On January 11, 2021, the NBA G-League draft was announced. Jordan Allen waited patiently for his name to be called. Up to this point, the journey he has gone through since he graduated from Dover High School (Dover, Delaware) in 2016 was filled with many trials and tribulations.

Allen was working out every day in Houston, Texas in preparation for the NBA G-League. Before that, he was playing Division 2 basketball in Florida for Lynn University after transferring from Rider University in New Jersey.

“The thing with me is, I’m so determined and persistent about what I want out of my life,” Allen said before going to Houston. “And I’m going to go get it, regardless. I’m a hard worker.” (News, 2021)

Jordan Allen was a top 5 Delaware prospect in the class of 2016 for Dover High School. He won numerous awards from the time he was a Sophomore all the way up to his senior season.

(Sophomore Jordan Allen guarding Caesar Rodney player/via Jason Minto)

2nd Team All-Conference as a Sophomore,  1st Team All-Conference and 2nd Team All-State as a Junior. As a senior, Allen scored 1,000 career points, led the state in scoring with 26.5 Points, 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-State, Blue & Gold All-Star, and won the 2016 Delaware Gatorade Player of The Year.

Dover’s head coach, Stephen Wilson, elaborates on the bond he has with Jordan. “I’ve been coaching Jordan since he was in 6th grade, and from the time he was 12 he has always been a consistent hard worker.” (News, 2021)

(Dover Senators head coach Stephen Wilson directing his team from the sidelines during a game/ via Gary Emeigh)

Despite the legendary career, it was never fulfilled with a state championship. His senior year was the season many expected the Allen-led Dover Senators to take state since Dover was ranked the 3rd best team in Delaware and was one of the preseason favorites to take the 2015-2016 Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) State Title.
But with a shocking loss to St. Thomas More Academy in the 2nd Round, it concluded the Senators’ season and Allen’s high school basketball career. “I still think about that game sometimes.” Allen reminisced, “That season was perfectly set up for us to win it all, but we didn’t.”

(Jordan Allen on signing day/ via Twitter @TimMastroDSN)

Allen graduated in 2016 and headed off to Lawrence Township, New Jersey to begin his collegiate career attending Rider University. However, he redshirted his freshman year so he did not play in the 2016-17 season.

Allen’s official college career took off in the 2017-18 NCAA season. He averaged 13.4 Points per game, shooting 38% from 3. He earned  All-MAAC 3rd Team, All-MAAC Rookie Team, and earned MAAC Conference Player of the Week 4 times.

(Jordan Allen being guarded by a Quinnipiac defender/ via gobroncos.com)

From the looks of his first season, the best was yet to come for Jordan and his college career. However, Allen was given a lesser role in the 2018-19 season, which meant his number across the board dropped. 

“I was hoping for an extended role with Rider, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case… That hurt me because I thought I was making huge strides in the offseason”. Allen’s perception on playing with the Broncos did a complete 180, so he entered the transferring portal.

Hoping for another opportunity with another program, Allen’s wishes came true, as he committed to play for Lynn University, a Division 2 basketball program in Boca Raton, Florida.

Allen’s new school gave him a rejuvenating feel, “It was a breath of fresh air” he said. Once the season started, Allen quickly showed his talents. 

On October 29, 2019, Jordan and the Lynn Knights had an exhibition match against the Florida Gators, a Division 1 basketball program that was ranked the 6th best team in the entire country.

Allen let none of the hype intimidate him. Even though Florida beat Lynn 71-89, Jordan scored nearly half the team’s points with 35.

Lynn’s Assistant coach Nick DeAtley talks about his performance “That game made us realize we had something special with Jordan.” (Walker, 2019)

(Jordan Allen shooting over defender/ via Twitter @Lynn_Knights)

Allen never left his foot off the gas since. He finished the 2019-2020 season leading Lynn to a 25-7 record, averaging 18 Points and 6 Rebounds per game shooting 37% from 3. 

Unfortunately, the season ended abruptly because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Allen went through a crisis, wondering if this will hinder his chances of going pro. “When Covid happened, it stopped everyone on their tracks and for a second, I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

2021 gave Allen another chance to get back on the court. He was signed to play for the Houston Push, a minor league basketball team owned by former NBA All-Star Steve Francis.

(Jordan Allen in a Houston Push jersey/ via Facebook @Houtson Push)

He continued his dominance with Houston, and once the season was over, he declared for the NBA G-League draft. Allen became the 46th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Development team for the Indiana Pacers. 

“The G League is a big deal, he’s only got one more step to go and that’s to be called up (to the NBA),” said Dover coach Stephen Wilson. “He had to work on different aspects of his game. They already thought he had an NBA body. They liked his handle, they liked his shot, they liked his persistence.”
As of now, Allen is playing for the Westchester Knicks, the Development team for the New York Knicks. He’s averaging 10.6 Points shooting nearly 37% from 3. “I’m so thankful for the journey I’ve been on, but I know my job is not done yet. I’m right there, and I feel it coming soon!”.


WBOC Staff. (2016, January 6) Beyond Basketball: Giving High School Athletes the College Experience. WBOC staff. WBOC Sports. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from http://sports.wboc.com/featured-sports/beyond-basketball-giving-high-school-athletes-the-college-experience/

Alexander, A. (2021, December 31). Knicks acquire Blake Francis and Jordan Allen from available player pool. Westchester Knicks. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://westchester.gleague.nba.com/news/knicks-acquire-blake-francis-and-jordan-allen-from-available-player-pool/

Lynn University (2021, October 25). Former Lynn Basketball player Jordan Allen selected in 2nd round of NBA G League draft. Lynn University. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://lynnfightingknights.com/sports/mbkb/2021-22/releases/20211025hqgf4p

Myers, B. (2016, March 5). Tiny St. Thomas more stuns no. 3 Dover. The News Journal. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.delawareonline.com/story/sports/high-school/2016/03/04/tiny-st-thomas-more-stuns-no-3-dover/81232930/

Walker, S. N. (2019, October 30). Gators men’s basketball defeats Lynn 89-71. ESPN 98.1 FM – 850 AM WRUF. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.wruf.com/headlines/2019/10/29/gators-mens-basketball-defeats-lynn-89-71/

News, D. S. (2021, October 25). Roundup: Dover’s Allen drafted by G League. Bay to Bay News. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://baytobaynews.com/sussex/sussex/stories/roundup-dovers-allen-drafted-by-g-league,61966

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