DOVER — It’s around 2 p.m. on a summer’s day, Jordan Allen is in one of the practice gyms at Dover High and he is ecstatic.
Allen punches the blue pads on the wall and yells out to the handful of people in the gym.
“Yeah, that’s the first time I beat Corey in two weeks,” shouts Allen, a rising senior at Dover.
Allen is playing against two former Dover standouts from the 2010 state runner-up squad — Corey Crawford and Kendal Williams. Both just graduated from playing college basketball, Crawford at St. Michael’s College in Vermont and Williams at Delaware State.
Allen is shaping up to be the next Dover boys’ basketball star to play in college. He already has an offer from Delaware State and has garnered interest from Delaware, St. Joseph’s, Fordham, Drexel, Rider and Quinnipiac, among others, with the July live period for college coaches about to get underway.
“Every other day it’s a new school that calls,” said Dover coach Stephen Wilson. “Now they’re saying he’s Atlantic 10 or better. If this keeps going on, he can be an ACC or a Big East player.”
Interest in Allen, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, has skyrocketed after his performances with his AAU team WER1, based out of Philadelphia.
Allen’s stock exploded after he made 10-of-16 threes in an event in New York in May. He was pushed into the starting lineup that day for WER1 when Quade Green (ranked 43rd by ESPN in the class of 2017) was injured.
“I had confidence,” Allen said. “Once I started making shots, it just started flowing from there.”
That shot-making ability is no surprise to those who have seen Allen play for Dover. Last season he was named to the All-State second team, had a 40-point game and scored 29 points in Dover’s second round playoff defeat to St. Elizabeth.
But in his first AAU tournament, Allen wasn’t used to the taller defenders on the national scene. He came back to Dover and Wilson developed a workout to help Allen practice a quicker release.
That paid huge dividends at the New York event.
“He belongs on that circuit,” Wilson said. “He belongs as one of the best shooters on the East Coast. He’s by far the best shooter I’ve ever had. When he steps across halfcourt, you better guard him.”
The one-on-one or two-on-two games against current and former Dover players like Crawford and Williams are a normal part of Allen’s routine.
Allen considers having former players to practice with a blessing.
“It’s great because I’ve watched them for a long time,” Allen said. “They’ve done this before. So being with them in the gym, it’s a good firsthand experience.”
Allen is preparing for two more AAU tournaments with WER1 in front of plenty of college coaches.
First up is the championship of the Under Armour circuit, July 14-18, where WER1 is the top seed. Then comes the “Fab 48” tournament in Las Vegas, July 22-29, which features the top 48 AAU teams in the country.
In August Allen will be playing football for the Senators, giving them a big-play threat at wide receiver. He started the football season last year and caught a touchdown on a jump-ball in the end zone during the first game against Urbana (Md.).
Before that his basketball schedule entails pickup games at either Dover or Delaware State, working out in the weight room or on the track at Dover and flying to his final two AAU tournaments of the summer.
“It’s time-consuming, but it’s what he’s been working for since he was in the seventh grade and we first met,” Wilson said. “He told me when he was in seventh grade that he wanted to get there. So it’s my job to push him.”