Former Milton Panther Adam Allen seemed to have the world at his feet when he signed a basketball scholarship to the University of Florida in 2007.
During the next five years and three knee surgeries, Allen has been on one heck of a roller coaster ride.
"It has been a long road for me with the pain and the three knee surgeries," said Allen, who attends graduate school at Rollins College and playing basketball once again. "I had gotten to the point where I didn't want to watch basketball or play basketball and had given up to the point where I was looking for a job."
But Allen, who is as competitive as anyone on the hardwood, decided to join some friends outside of Orlando for a pickup game and they suggested he consider attending Rollins.
"I listened to them, but I never really considered it in the beginning," said Allen, who scored 2,317 points and grabbed 1,200 rebounds in his career as a Panther. "Then coach Tom Klusman called me, and the vibe I got got me so excited."
It was as if the Allen's sophomore and junior season and the three surgeries had disappeared.
"I got the chance to resurrect my basketball career," Allen said. "Just to be a part of a team or a component of a team really got me excited."
Now Allen has learned the hard way he cannot go like he use to before sustaining a sprained knee in a scrimmage on Oct. 24.
"I am not going to average 20 points and 10 rebounds like I use to," Allen said. "I am lucky to play 20 minutes a night and doing that it is hard for me to practice the next day.
"It usually takes me a day or two to get to feeling better."
For Allen, who was the 2007 Mr. Basketball in Florida runner-up, he is learning some lessons the hard way.
"I am so competitive that it frustrates me to know I can't keep up and play the whole game," Allen said. "I have to get in and get out and know my limits.
"I have to look out for me and have fun now and the guys on the team are great."
Although his knee injury occurred at Florida, Adam has nothing but high praise for his former coach Billy Donovan, who was leaving to coach Orlando just before he signed his letter of intent with the Gators.
"I have no hard feelings for coach Donovan," Allen said. "For two years, he kept me around when he could have told me to get lost and take a medical hardship to get your degree.
"But he kept me around I guess because he saw my passion. It was the best experience possible and I really appreciate it."
Allen's senior year was a very memorable one as he took the floor one final time for Florida when they clinched a share of the SEC title in 2011 with a win over Alabama on senior night.
Rollins is 5-1 this season heading into a tournament they are hosting in Las Vegas.
"I have learned to play smarter and know what I can and cannot do," Allen said. "I will never go through the lane and dunk like I use to, but I can pass the ball to a teammate or pull up for a jump shot."
In their six games this season Allen led the Tars with 18 points and seven rebounds in Rollins' 73-45 win over Palm Beach Atlantic.
So far this season he is averaging just less than 10 points and four rebounds a game.
Allen enjoying basketball at Rollins
Dec 17, 2012 at 12:01 AM Dec 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM