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Ray Allen: Turning soar experiences to glorious opportunities

A look into the business ventures of the NBA legend nicknamed ‘Jesus’ who did wonders in basketball and business

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Walter Ray Allen Jr., born on July 20, 1975, played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 18 seasons, cementing his place as a legend in the international sport of basketball, which later resulted in his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018. Mr. Walter is renowned for his unrivalled prowess in three-point shooting, thereby kickstarting a revolution for the shooting guard roles on the court. Allen set the record for the most career three-pointers in a regular season with 24,505 points in 2011 until it was later broken by Legendary NBA Point-Guard, Stephen Curry in 2021. His collegiate years at the University of Connecticut laid the groundwork for what would become an illustrious NBA career, with Allen playing in ten All-Star games and having a significant role in securing Olympic gold for the United States in 2000. Allen’s professional journey saw him play for the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat, achieving his greatest team successes with the latter two. He played very crucial roles in the Celtics’ 2008 triumph and the Heat’s dramatic 2013 championship win, the latter highlighted by his crucial three-pointer in Game 6 of the NBA Finals that tied that game with about 5 seconds to go.

Off-screen, his life story is one of resilience, hard work and dedication, shaped by his early years as a military child and his unyielding commitment to excellence, both in academics and athletics. As a kid, Allen was always picked on and bullied for his accents as a result of his family’s constant moving around Europe but being a naturally gifted athlete and hard worker, he made a name for himself among his peers. He decided to dedicate his time to being the best basketball player, especially when his with a growth spurt. He later when on to University of Connecticut where he joined the school’s basketball team, breaking and setting several unbeatable records winning their third consecutive Big East Conference regular season title and played in their third consecutive NCAA Tournament and was also named the Big East Player of the Year. Allen, overtime, has proven to be more than just a basketball player, with his advocacy for Holocaust remembrance and leading educational and community-oriented initiatives. His personal life, marked by a deep commitment to family, discipline, and philanthropy, complements his public persona as an athlete whose legacy transcends the boundaries of sport. Through his induction into the Hall of Fame and his continuing influence as a cultural icon, Allen’s journey from a hardworking young athlete to a legendary veteran of the game is a testament to the need for dedication, skill, and excellence in the pursuit of greatness.

Beyond the basketball court, Allen has ventured into several business ventures, one of which is the acting industry. He is mostly known for portraying ‘Jesus Shuttlesworth’ in Spike Lee’s 1998 classic hit movie “He Got Game”, a performance that received responses from critics and fans alike. The name ‘Jesus Shuttlesworth’ later on became Allen’s nickname.

A ‘GROWN’ man: Building a business company from bad fast-food experiences

Allen is associated with Grown, a restaurant which provides healthy, organic fast foods and drinks. Grown was an idea of Allen’s wife, Shannon Allen that originated from their past experiences and challenges in finding fast and nutritious meals for her family, specifically from a 2008 experience where Walker, their son who had specific dietary needs as a result of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes began suffering a blood-sugar crisis and there were no available nearby restaurants that sold healthy, organic fast foods. Growth was launched in 2016 in Miami after six years of planning and breathing life into the concept of the restaurant. The restaurant is dedicated to offering 100% organic food and drinks with local and sustainable ingredients without Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), hormones, preservatives, or processed sugar, aiming at providing a healthier alternative to traditional fast food. This initiative reflects the Allens’ commitment to promoting well-being and nutrition through their entrepreneurial ventures​​.

A real estate mogul too!

Allen owned an 11,093 square feet home in Boston which he acquired in 2007. This home had a 12-person media room, nine bedrooms, nine full baths, a panelled library, a media and game room and a six-car garage. After Ray Allen left the Boston Celtics to play for the Miami Heat, he sold his home for $4.6million. In 2014, Allen acquired an impressive 11,500 square foot mansion in Coral Gables, Florida, for $11 million. This luxurious property features ten bedrooms, offering ample space for both family and guests. One of its most remarkable attributes is a private beach, providing an exclusive retreat for relaxation and solitude away from public attention. Besides this illustrious property, Allen has other understated commercial properties through the United States which are pivotal to his revenue generation.

Ray’s reflection ‘From the Outside’ of the basketball court put in words

Allen, in collaboration with Michael Arkush, authored “From the Outside: My Journey Through Life and the Game I Love.” This memoir provides insight into Allen’s life, reflecting on his work ethic, relationships on and off the basketball court, and what it took to have a long and successful career in the NBA. Playing for 18 years, Allen shared the challenges and experiences he had, providing a thoughtful and in-depth look at his journey through life and the game of basketball. The book also how his determination and dedication to excellence and approach to the game set him apart from his peers​​. As a New York bestseller, the income generated from the sales of this book contribute significantly to Ray Allen’s net worth.

A wise man with vast knowledge

Allen, renowned for his illustrious basketball career, is also a sought-after speaker, featured prominently on platforms like All American Entertainment and All American Speakers Bureau. His involvement in public speaking shows his wide range of knowledge on several societal and diverse topic, reflecting his diverse interests and experiences both on and off the basketball court​​​​.

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