We’re counting down the 25 best former Texas athletes still competing in their sport. Each day we’ll reveal a new athlete.
No. 18. Jarrett Allen, basketball
Hailing from Round Rock via St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Austin, Jarrett Allen’s recruitment was one of the biggest storylines of Texas coach Shaka Smart’s first full offseason at Texas. Allen kept the Longhorns and a handful of other programs on edge as he tried to decide his future school. Instead of signing a national letter of intent, Allen enrolled at Texas in the summer of 2016 and propelled Texas’ preseason hopes. The 6-foot-11-inch shot blocking McDonald’s All-American was Texas’ best player his freshman season, averaging 13.4 points, 1.5 blocks, 8.4 rebounds and shot 56 percent from the field. He started all 32 games for Texas. The Longhorns’ season didn’t go as well, as Texas won just 11 games, but Allen’s season was a massive success, including one of the best performances by a Longhorn player ever inside Kansas’ famed Allen Fieldhouse, when he scored 22 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked three shots.
Pro career: Jarrett Allen declared for the NBA Draft following his freshman season and the Brooklyn Nets selected him No. 22 overall in the first round of the draft. Despite many predicting Allen would have to spend a season in the developmental league before playing a full NBA schedule, Allen’s rookie year was a success for the rebuilding Nets. He averaged 8.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He started 21 of 72 games played and averaged 20 minutes of playing time, establishing himself as a building block for the Nets, who went 28-54 this past season.
Why he’s here: Allen performed above expectations his rookie year if you use what draft experts predicted of him. As he continues to develop his body and add muscle, Allen showed he has the talent to grow into a dominant, NBA franchise center.
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