For Allin, basketball runs in the blood
Disappointing, upsetting, heart-wrenching.
Just a few words that might come to everyone’s mind when you mention the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s basketball defeat in the first round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs to Guelph, but not Max Allin’s.
The third-year guard may have missed that game due to food poisoning, but he’s not letting that stop him for being prepared for next year.
Teammate Patrick Donnelly was also out that game with a concussion. “[If we were healthy] that three-point loss [61-58] would’ve never happened,” he joked.
“It’s pretty disappointing because we were 16-2 at one point and then kind of folded and it got worse,” he added. “It left a bad taste in my mouth at the end of the year. It’s going to make me really hungry, work harder and be ready for next year.”
With three older brothers who played basketball for Windsor and a younger brother playing in high school, it’s no surprise basketball has been a prominent part of Allin’s life since a young age.
“My dad has been coaching basketball for 35 to 40 years. He got everyone in my family involved in it,” said Allin.
Despite three of his brothers being on that team, he knew it wasn’t where he wanted to be. “I knew I didn’t want to go to Windsor and I told the coach that I just wanted to do my own thing.”
His own thing is what eventually led him to Laurier and their Golden Hawks. “Playing basketball was pretty important wherever I chose to go but academics comes before athletics of course, and basketball fit in well with Laurier,” he said.
“I love the campus, the coach and my teammates and a big reason why I chose to come here was obviously the schooling and the coach was really great on the recruiting process. I really enjoyed everything at the school.”
Leading the team in assists with 119 and being second in scoring behind Kale Harrison, Allin showed no signs of slowing down in another big year and he plans on continuing that into next season.
“I’ve got to become a more consistent scorer; hopefully average 18-20 points a game to help us out and motivate more guys to focus harder on their game.”
All-time Golden Hawks point-leader Kale Harrison along with four other veteran players will be graduating this year, but Allin thinks he can handle the newly-placed pressure of leading his squad.
“This year I’m really going to have to extend my game, expand it, take on new roles and just take over the game more on my own,” he stated, adding that the team will still have players “who have had a key amount of minutes and they’re going to have to step up if we want to be the team we were last year or excel past that.”
Allin’s chemistry with teammate Harrison was one of the big factors to the success of the team the past few years but Allin believes Harrison’s graduation won’t go unnoticed.
“I’ve had the privilege to play with Kale for three years and I learned a lot from him. He’s one of the best players to play in university,” he said, adding that “it was great getting the chance to play with him in the span that I did and it’s going to help a lot over the next two years.”
What’s the biggest factor to his success?
“Hard work,” said Allin. “You can have talent, but talent doesn’t win every time. You’ve got to have hard work.”
And that hard work coupled with his competitiveness has gotten him far in his university career.
“I don’t even like losing in drills,” he joked. “Being super competitive is what compels me to more success.”
That success doesn’t come alone however. “My dad is a key role model and my older brothers have done it before me.
“They went through it all and have helped me along the way,” said Allin, who is now using that helpful advice to aid his younger brother in his high school career.
But don’t expect a dynamic brotherly duo any time soon. “I’d like him to come here and play with me for a year, but he wants to do what I did and stay an extra year to improve on his game.”
With his sights set on next season, Allin is looking forward to helping and watching the new recruits improve.
“It’ll be exciting to see these younger guys stepping up into bigger roles and show the hard work that they’ve done over the last year or so to prepare for this time.”
And it’s what the team will need if it hopes to be successful in the upcoming season.
“Next year it’s obviously going to be a bit of a rebuilding team,” Allin said. “But I’m excited with the new recruits coming in and other guys taking on bigger roles.”
With Max Allin’s veteran leadership behind the helm, the Hawks are looking forward to hopefully another big season.
“There’s nothing wrong with putting more points up on the board.”
And that’s exactly what they plan to do.