The Winter Park Rotary Tip-Off Classic trophy is staying put at Edgewater High School as the Eagles have won in back-to-back years and in both consecutive years they’ve been led by their forward—Robert Allen.
“He presents a big mismatch for us,” Edgewater Coach Jason Atherton explained. “You know he can handle like a guard, you know he allows us to have true –almost a fifth guard on the court at his size.”
In the championship game against Lake Highland Prep --the 6’8 senior had 24 points and 10 rebounds.
“I didn’t even know I had 24-points you know, I kinda just loved the rhythm of the game,” Allen said of that game. “My teammates making sure that they were happy and seeing everyone smile –it was great.”
Allen was named tournament MVP for the second straight year— joining the likes of Vince Carter, Nick Calathes and Damien Wilkens to ever win the prestigious award back-to-back.
“That’s crazy that you say that because I told my dad “Like Dad, all those people went to the NBA so you know –you know what that means, right? I kinda got my hopes up and gave me more confidence about where my career is gonna go,” Allen said.
This team reaching the state finals last year and falling short, but winning this tournament a sure sign they are heading back in the right direction—especially this early in the season.
“Our goal is not to be great right now, we know we have some stuff to work on and our goal is to be great come the end of January,” Atherton said.
“I’m hoping this year that we can get there and win it all you know,” Allen added. “That would mean so much. My parents asked me if I wanted a class ring I was like ‘I don’t want a class ring, I want a state ring!’”
Robert Allen has been starting on varsity at Edgewater since he was a freshman and he is committed to playing collegiate basketball at Samford next year but right now it’s about this team and how they plan to make their push at a state title.