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HELP ON THE WAY: Chambers Academy guard Payton Allen drives against Evangel Christian in the AISA A state championship game. Allen said that he struggled to get going in the loss because of Evangel’s help defense. Photo by Rashad Milligan

Allen named All-Valley Boys Basketball Player of the Year

LaFAYETTE — In basketball, there are many different types of players. Some players are scorers, others are facilitators, some specialize on the defensive end of the floor and then there are the all-around athletes. A player whose strengths come in a multitude of ways on the court are few and far between- insert Chambers Academy sophomore Payton Allen.

This past season, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 23.9 points, 9.04 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Rebels, who finished the season as the state championship runner-ups.

Allen rebounds and brings up the ball for Chambers Academy,  either running plays or handing off the ball before working to get open each play on offense. When he looks to score, he can blow past his defender one-on-one before knocking down a midrange jumper off the dribble.

Allen set a single-game school record by scoring 46 points against Eastwood on Dec. 6. The historic scoring night was also accommodated with 15 rebounds and 10 assists for a triple-double. Against Springwood School on Jan. 31, Allen was recognized for becoming the fastest player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone.

“It did take a lot of time on my own to work on that, but my coaches and teammates really helped out with that,” Allen said. “I can’t thank them enough, and God for letting me play this game. It took hours on my own, but I can’t thank my coaches and teammates enough.”

The sophomore guard also became the first Rebel in program recorded history to make back-to-back All-State teams.

Allen takes 150 shots every day before or after practice to keep his reps up. Also the school’s starting quarterback, Allen stays after practices to get more reps throwing the ball. He said the habits were instilled in him from his father and head coach Jason Allen growing up, but he’s so accustomed to the routine now that he can do it daily on his own.

This offseason, Allen plans to attend some exposure camps for football and basketball to start getting some college scouts looking at him. He’s also been working out with his maternal grandfather, a former basketball coach himself who’s helping Allen work on his left hand.

A finalist to win this year’s AISA Player of the Year award from the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA), Allen has a chance to add to his list of individual milestones by becoming the first state player of the year in program history. A man of many accolades already in his two-year high school career so far, his final goal before e he graduates is to win a state championship.

“We have a lot of guys back, and it really hurt to lose in that state championship,” Allen said. “I have to keep working, and that will push me harder to be a better player overall.”