Isaiah Allen is a sophomore on the Lakewood Ranch High boys basketball team. Through three games this season, the 6-foot-1 shooting guard is averaging 18 points and five rebounds per game. As of Dec. 4, Lakewood Ranch has a 2-1 record. The Mustangs will play local rival Braden River High (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Braden River.
When did you start playing basketball?
I have played basketball for as long as I can remember, but I started taking it seriously in seventh grade, because I realized I was not good at it. I played in an AAU tournament and rode the bench the whole time. My team had seven players. I just could not do that anymore. I had to get better.
What is the appeal of basketball to you?
I love to win. That's all I care about. Basketball happens to be what I'm good at now, so it's what I do.
What is your best skill?
Shooting. That is what I work on the most. I love shooting from outside (3-point range). I'll shoot from anywhere, which is sometimes a bad thing. But I can make it.
What have you been working to improve?
Everything other than shooting. I want to get my mid-range game going. Finishing (near the basket) is a big thing.
What is your favorite memory?
This July, I played in a tournament in Atlanta with my AAU team (Parrish Pirates). I scored 27 points in a game there, which was the most I had scored in a game at the time. We lost the game, but that was a cool moment for me.
What has first-year Head Coach Jake Baer brought to the program?
He's brought a lot in terms of discipline and an overall better environment. There's no moping around anymore. You're not going through the motions every day. It feels like a winning environment. You're getting stuff done.
What are your goals for 2023-2024 as a team?
A district championship is the goal, at minimum. That's it.
What is your favorite food?
I have to go with my stepmom's (Kristi Harris) chicken pot pie.
What is your favorite school subject?
Well, it's not my favorite, but my best subject is math. It's just always been that way.
What is your favorite TV show?
Probably "Naruto." I like a lot of anime shows.
Which superpower would you pick?
The ability to never miss a shot.
What is the best advice you have received?
Shoot more. I shoot a lot now, but I used to not shoot at all. You have to be more confident. When I'm fully confident, it almost feels like I'm not even playing the game. Everything just happens. And when I'm not confident, I either think too much or turn the ball over.
Finish this sentence: "Isaiah Allen is …"
Determined. I've been that way up to this point and I plan to keep it that way. I want to make it to the NBA, and you have to be determined to do that.