Even if John Allen doesn't hear his named called during the NBA draft in two weeks, he plans on entering the Association one way or another.
"I mean the goal is kind of the same as the ultimate goal, get a couple more workouts and sneak into the draft," Allen said in a phone interview. "The realistic goal is to make an NBA summer team and play in the summer league. That's what I'm shooting for, and it would be good exposure."
The 6-foot-5 crafty All-American point guard who led Western Washington University to a 2012 NCAA title and the national semifinals last year took a step toward reaching his NBA goal Tuesday, June 11.
Allen received a call from his agent Monday night, June 10, saying the Portland Trail Blazers wanted to work him out. He drove to his parents place in Brier that night, left for the airport at 5 a.m. the next morning and reached the Trail Blazers' facility by 9 a.m.
Portland put Allen through several tests before taking his measurables and conducting an hour-long workout.
Besides Allen, Portland drilled Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk, Iowa State guard Chris Babb, Florida forward Erik Murphy, Memphis guard D.J. Stephens and Temple guard Khalif Wyatt.
"The workout was good," Allen said. "I made some mistakes early, not having played for a while. A finger on my shooting hand was hurt, and I made a couple mistakes here and there, but I was able to kind of forget about the pain and play. I got some positive feedback, and overall I think I did a pretty good job, given the circumstance."
The finger injury had prevented him from practicing the last week.
Tuesday's workout was the first Allen's received from an NBA team, but he's hoping more clubs come calling before the draft on June 27.
Since the heralded guard's career ended in March, he's been awarded shares of the WWU Male Athlete of the Year award as well as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Male Athlete of the Year award. The process of preparing for the next chapter of his basketball career has been both nerveracking and exciting, he said.
Allen averaged a career 15.3 points per game, recording 1,480 points, which ranks seventh among WWU leaders and most of any Viking playing less than four years. He finished 12th among school leaders in career assists with 348, 14th in steals with 157 and his 89.4 percent free-throw percentage was a school record. He also recorded 30 or more points in a game seven times.
"My expectation is to be playing with an NBA or an NBA associated team," said Allen when asked where he sees himself playing next winter. "I'm telling myself that's realistic, but I'm not counting out going overseas and whatever happens, happens."
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