Allin family legacy continues in Windsor

Ryan Blevins
By Ryan Blevins February 10, 2017 12:43
Former Laurier Golden Hawks forward Luke Allin high fives teammates during pregame announcements during his sophomore season before transferring to the University of Windsor later that season. (Photo courtesy of Luke Allin)

Former Laurier Golden Hawks forward Luke Allin high fives teammates during pregame announcements during his sophomore season before transferring to the University of Windsor later that season. (Photo courtesy of Luke Allin)

By Ryan Blevins

The final member of a legendary Chatham basketball family has found a home in Windsor.

Luke Allin graduated from Ursuline College High School in Chatham in 2013. A star basketball player, Allin elected to attend Wilfred Laurier University as a student athlete. For most high school athletes this would seem like a mundane decision, but with an Allin family history of playing at the University of Windsor his choice was unorthodox but not unprecedented.

The Allin family is considered one of the most famous sports families in Chatham by local sports fans. The father of eight children, Dave Allin died in 2013 from complications with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Dave was inducted into the Chatham-Kent Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 as a builder of Chatham sports.

He was considered a pioneer in Chatham, starting the city’s first travel basketball program in 1997 and ran the first summer basketball camp in 1981. A physical education teacher for 35 years, Dave won 20 championship trophies as a coach at Indiana Creek Road and Queen Elizabeth II Public Schools. His legacy lives on through his sons, five of whom played basketball at universities in Ontario.

The first Allin brother came to Windsor by way of football. Rich Allin was recruited by several schools to play quarterback and settled on the University of Windsor in 2003. A talented basketball player in high school, Rich began practicing with the basketball team following his freshman football season. After making the team, Allin would go on to play five seasons with the team under head coach Chris Oliver.

Greg Allin, the oldest Allin brother, enrolled at Windsor during the same season, but was recruited as a basketball player. Greg and Rich were able to play together for five seasons and graduated in 2008. In their second-to-last season playing together the brothers won the Ontario University Athletics championship and made it all the way to the Canadian Interuniversity Sports championships. The team lost in the finals, finishing second in Canada. Greg returned to the school later in life, as an assistant coach in 2012. Greg was in charge of player development and post play. He ended his coaching tenure last season.

Also a member of the 2007 championship team was brother Conor Allin. Conor was able to play with his brothers Greg and Rich for two seasons. A member of the Lancers basketball team from 2006-2009, Conor played 18 games in the 2007-2008 season.

However the Allin family had a rogue member take a different route in 2009. The second youngest member of the Allin family, Max, committed to Wilfred Laurier University after deciding to take his own path in college.

“Peter Campbell [head coach of Laurier] really won me over,” said Max Allin. “In my final year [of high school] I think he was at every one of my tournaments.”

Max had an illustrious career at Laurier and is regarded as one of the programs best players. In his first season as a Golden Hawk, Allin made the OUA All-Rookie First Team. He would continue receiving OUA honours, making the OUA All-Star Second Team in 2011 and 2012 and the All-Star First Team in 2013 and 2014. His efforts in the 2013 season were regarded as some of the best in Canadian university basketball when he was named to the CIS All-Star Second Team. Max finished his time at Laurier as the school’s all-time leading rebounder and passer, registering more assists than anyone in Laurier history. He also ranked fifth on the all-time OUA scoring list, scoring more than 1,500 points in five seasons.

When it was time for the youngest brother Luke to make his decision, both Laurier and Windsor were in play. Luke Allin spent one and a half seasons at Laurier, playing 27 total games and making the OUA All-Rookie First Team just as his brother Max. But Allin was seeking a change of schools and transferred to the University of Windsor in February 2016.

“I just wanted to be closer to home. I know the coaching staff here is awesome,” said Allin.

He was forced to sit out a full year due to OUA transfer rules. After missing the tail end of his sophomore season and the entire first portion of the 2016 semester, Luke gained eligibility for the 2017 semester.

Allin’s head coach, Chris Oliver, says Luke has brought a lot to the team since gaining eligibility in November, 2016.

“He’s been through a lot of different situations,” said Oliver. “He’s a tremendous offensive player. He just has an ability to score the ball when he’s open.”

Allin is currently a starting forward on the Lancers men’s team. Allin has played in 10 games of the Lancers games this season, dating back to late November. He is averaging 10.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game this season and has started all but two games. He is currently ranked third on the Lancers in scoring, which is seen as valuable after the Lancers lost their two leading scorers last season.

On Feb. 8 Allin took the court against his former team, the Laurier Golden Hawks. The game was part of a basketball triple-header event at Caesars Windsor. Both the University of Windsor Men’s and Women’s basketball teams played the Laurier Golden Hawks before the Windsor Express took on the Kitchener-Waterloo Titans as part of their National Basketball League of Canada schedule.

For Luke, playing his former school will be in the back of his head.

“We just want to get the win no matter who we are playing, but it would be nice to beat the old school, that’s for sure,” said Allin.

Ryan Blevins
By Ryan Blevins February 10, 2017 12:43

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