“It’s Never Too Late”: 30 Years After Abandoning 1 Crucial Feat for NBA Career, 2x Champ Finally Tied the Loose End

Published 09/05/2023, 9:30 AM EDT

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With 10 All-Star appearances and over 24,000 points, Ray Allen is considered one of the best shooting guards to ever play in the NBA. The former Seattle Supersonics star dedicated 18 years of his life to the NBA. Understandably so, he had to abandon his other dreams to make sure he became a star in the league. But the 48-year-old has now achieved a goal 30 years after he set foot at UConn. For most people at this point in their lives, it’s just a dream, but for Jesus Shuttlesworth, it was the right time to get the job done.

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Following his retirement from the league in 2014, Allen has made countless appearances on TV as an NBA analyst. But in 2023, he went back and finally achieved one thing that he had longed for years.

Ray Allen’s thirty-year journey

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Ray Allen recently finished the journey that he started in 1993. Back then, Allen played for the University of Connecticut. He played in college for three years before getting drafted 5th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996. This made him leave his college and the degree that he was pursuing.

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27 years after getting to the NBA, in May 2023, Allen finished his course at UConn and now has a bachelor’s degree in general studies. The pandemic gave Allen the opportunity to start studying, and he has finally achieved his dream.

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Allen talked about the time he was in school. He noticed people in their 30s still studying. This always made him admire the people in college. Allen said, “Wow, they’re still in school. It’s never too late to learn.” With that in mind, when he felt like the time was right, he went ahead and did it.

From the Big East Player of the Year to the NBA

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Allen played for three years at UConn. In his junior year, he averaged 23.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. That was his best year at the collegiate level. Because of this, in 1996, he was given the Big East Player of the Year award and the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player award.

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He declared for the NBA draft, and was later traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Stephon Marbury on draft night. The former Boston Celtics star became one of the league’s most prolific shooters and scorers, and in his 18-year career, he won two championships. He is also the person who has one of the most clutch and iconic shots in NBA history that helped the Miami Heat win a championship.

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What are your thoughts on Allen going back to college to finish his degree? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Rijin Varghese

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Rijin is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the NBA for over a decade. He likes to learn about the nuances of sports, understand every player's contribution to a team, and also learn the logic behind player signings and team building.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth

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