By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
Jabriel “Blue” Allen had an amazing season at Napa Valley College. He was rewarded for all of his efforts Thursday when he signed with Alcorn State in Lorman, Mississippi.
“Now that he’s finally signed, I’m relieved, I know that it was his goal all along,” Napa Valley College coach Steve Ball said Thursday. “He kinda held out a little bit waiting for that dream division I offer, which doesn’t come around this late too often, but he was fortunate enough to find a couple of spots that were interested in him, and he had a few suitors to choose from there at the end.”
Allen was a major scorer for the Storm who went 10-17 overall, 8-9 in Bay valley Conference play. He averaged 20 points per game, shot .447 from the three point line, and .779 from the free throw line.
“Jabriel was able to shoot the ball at 55% from the three point line to begin the season, once teams started realizing that, they started crowding his air space, and he dropped way down to 45%, which is still an excellent three point shooting percentage,” Ball added on Allen’s shooting. “He did a great job of learning how to move without the basketball on set pieces, and inside of our motion offense, his midrange game is excellent, and he has the athleticism to take it to the rack, and finish over people, when he sets his mind to it.”
“Jabriel is a really explosive player and will bring a lot of leadership to the team. He can score at all three levels which is something we haven’t had since I’ve been here. I’m really excited for what he’s going to bring to the team,” Alcorn State coach Montez Robinson said on alcornsports.com.
Allen’s best game of the season came January 25th when he scored 43 points at Merritt-Oakland. He also scored a minimum of 30 points on four different occasions other than the game at Merritt. Allen made five three-pointers in nine games.
“Jabriel is the best scorer I’ve ever coached,” Ball said on the Alcorn State website. “Jabriel will fit in just right with the way Coach Robinson runs his system. Shooting is Jabriel’s biggest strength, but my favorite part of his game is his mid-range pull-up. When guys start flying out at him to stop his three-pointers, his pump fake and one-dribble pull-up goes in at a high percentage.”
Allen will be NVC’s first player to player division I NCAA basketball.
“Jabriel is our first division I guy,” Ball explained. “In the past five years we’ve had eight or nine division II scholarships signed, so we’re trending in that direction. We have a lot of guys coming in this year that I think are capable of division I scholarships.”
Alcorn State competes in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Last year the Braves finished second on the SWAC with a record of 19-13 overall, and 13-5 in conference.
According to Ball a big reason why Allen got to a division I school is because of his work in the classroom.
“Jabriel earned his associate’s degree which allowed him the opportunity to transfer out of here, so without the classroom he wouldn’t of had this opportunity. He took care of his business in the classroom, which allowed him the opportunity to play division I basketball,” Ball explained of Allen’s work in the classroom.
Allen will be a junior when he gets to Alcorn State.