Walter Ray Allen, Jr. may shoot the three point shot better than any player in NBA history.
Born at Castle Air Force Base in Merced, California on this date in 1975, he grew up a military child and lived all over the world. He attended high school in Dalzell, South Carolina and led the Hillcrest High School Rams to the state title his senior year, scoring 25 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the championship game. He was heavily recruited and chose the University of Connecticut, where he played from 1993 to 1996. Allen was a two time All-American at UConn, 1995 USA Basketball Athlete of the Year and Big East Player of the Year in the 1995-96 season. He left UConn as the Huskies’ third all-time leading scorer and set a single-season record for three point shots made. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected him with the fifth pick on the 1996 NBA Draft and he was immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Stephon Marbury. He won the 3-point shootout during All-Star Weekend in 2001 and led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals that year, where they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers. He was traded to the Seattle Supersonics during the 2002-03 season and played there through 2007.
The Boston Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett via trades prior to the 2008 season. They joined Paul Pierce to form the “Big Three” that led Boston to the NBA title that year, the Celtics’ first djsince 1986 and first-ever for Ray Allen, who tied a Finals record in Game 6 with seven three-pointers. He went on to break that record, going 8 of 11 from behind the 3-point line in Game 2 of the 2010 Finals, a series the Celtics lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined the Miami Heat prior to the 2012-13 season and helped them win their second consecutive NBA championship. The win also gave Mr. Allen his second title. He played the 2013-14 season with Miami and opted to sit out this past year as he evaluates his options.
Ray Allen is a 10 time NBA All-Star and is the league’s all-time leader in three point field goals made and attempted in the regular season as well as the all-time leader in three point field goals made in the post season. He won a gold medal for Team USA in the 2000 Summer Olympics and today celebrates his 40th birthday.