Having parents who graduated from Stanford and Vanderbilt tends to set a positive example for what to strive for in the classroom.
When those parents also were standout athletes, it can create an uncommon work ethic.
“Stanford, after the ball stops bouncing, you’ll be able to be successful in something other than basketball,” Malcolm Allen said.
With that in mind, Marcus and Malcolm Allen, senior guards and fraternal twins in Centennial’s boys basketball program, both orally committed to Stanford on Sunday following their official recruiting visit.
The Allens also considered scholarship offers from Rice, Drake, St. Mary’s, Boston College and Wyoming, among others. They also were heavily recruited by Ivy League schools.
But finding family legacy, academic prestige, and playing together for coach Johnny Dawkins while in the Pac-12 Conference was too much to pass up.
“We’ve always wanted to play basketball together since second grade, always wanted to play together in college,” Marcus Allen said.
If the Allen twins come across as well-spoken, it’s no coincidence. They have 4.8 weighted GPAs.
Their mother, Trina Wiggins, was a Stanford gymnast, and their father, Carl Allen, was a Vanderbilt football player. Both graduated from college in 1982, and they’ve passed down a strong commitment to academics.
“My mom went there. It’s just really exciting,” Malcolm Allen said. “It’s a relief as well. We can finally relax, focus and get ready for going there. Overall, it’s exciting for us.”
The Allen twins, however, are much more than academics. They’ve been the backcourt engine behind a Centennial program that has emerged as one of the area’s best in recent years.
The 6-foot-1-inch Malcolm Allen generally plays point guard for Centennial and the 6-3 Marcus Allen is often at shooting guard, but they are capable of switching off.
Marcus Allen averaged 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists on his way to first-team all-state honors last season.
Malcolm Allen was an All-Sunset Region and first-team All-Northwest League pick after averaging 15.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
They share the ball unselfishly, rarely make mistakes in the half-court set and can be explosive in transition.
It added up to a 24-4 season last year as the Bulldogs won the Northwest League title and reached the semifinals of the Sunset Region playoffs. And it’s provided an even higher ceiling of goals for this season.
“A goal of our team is to continue to improve, make the playoffs and have a chance for state,” Marcus Allen said. “I’m a senior now, so I grew up with all these kids. I want to make it special.”