Fueled by Tragedy: Utah’s Timmy Allen is Bound for Greatness


Kiffer Creveling

University of Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen (1) takes a free throw shot during an NCAA Basketball game vs. The University of Oregon at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer


In his second season at the University of Utah, sophomore Timmy Allen has stepped up to become a leader. Allen’s drive and determination, however, started long before he stepped foot in Salt Lake City. In fact, from a young age, it was the love of a mother and a toughness learned from his brothers that made Allen into the man he is today.

“My childhood was fun,” Allen said with a smirk. “Growing up with brothers was … fun. There was a lot of excitement going on in the house. My mom was for sure my hero though. She was my best friend, and just the best person to be around.”

Elise Allen, Timmy’s mother, passed away in December 2016 during Allen’s junior year at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona. When asked about the type of person she was, Allen couldn’t help but smile as he reflected back to times they spent together.

University of Utah freshman forward Both Gach (11) celebrates with University of Utah freshman forward Timmy Allen (20) after his slam dunk during an NCAA Basketball game vs. the USC Trojans at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

“You can’t say enough about her. If you knew her, you’d know just how special she was,” Allen said. “She was uplifting, she had a great smile, contagious laugh, goofy, fun, caring, and she couldn’t help but rub her happiness off on everyone she was around. If you were around her, you were lucky to be around her.”

Allen reminisced about the good times they had together. A favorite memory was when the two drove to pick up his brother from school. They would do this on a regular basis so that they could talk, laugh and strengthen that mother-and-son bond.

He may not have recognized it at the time, but it would be those moments that would create a special relationship between the two of them. As Allen grew up, it was his mom that was there helping him to become the man he is today — both in sports and in life.

“I was all sports. It didn’t matter what it was. Baseball, football, basketball — I actually played football before I played basketball. Anything active is what I was doing,” Allen said. “I was usually the young one who would get housed around being with my older brothers. All my friends weren’t my age. They were my older brother’s friends, so I would get pushed around. I’m happy about it now though because it’s helped me be tougher and mentally stronger than a lot of people my age.”

Teddy Allen, Timmy’s second oldest brother, was another person who played a big role in helping Allen get to where he is today. He was the one who helped Allen get hooked onto sports, mainly football. When it came time for Teddy to switch to basketball, that’s when a young Timmy followed suit. The brothers would fight and battle growing up, but ultimately, they motivated each other to become their best selves.

As Timmy got older, he started to receive a lot of recognition for his game on the court. Offers would fly in from all over the country. After narrowing down his choices to UCLA, San Diego State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Utah, the four-star recruit decided to head to Salt Lake City. His reasoning? Because he felt like he would mesh well with his teammates and coaches. Previous teammates also helped him to make the decision to make the trip north to play basketball for the next four seasons.

This year, Allen’s game has shown improvement from his freshman season. He is averaging 20 points and seven rebounds so far in 2019-2020.

University of Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen (1) shoots over Brigham Young University freshman Guard Trevin Knell (21) and Dalton Nixon (33) during an NCAA Basketball game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

“It started with my body. I wasn’t where I wanted to be at last season, so going into this season I wanted to shed a bunch of weight. So that’s what I did, and it’s helped me improve and become more guard-like in my game,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of work that nobody sees and that I don’t really talk about. A lot of people say they work hard, but I feel like some of the things I do are next level. Especially with the hours and nutrition and the commitment to be great. I’ve come a long way, but I still have a long way to go.”

Everybody needs some time off, and Allen is no different. On his days off, Allen likes to spend time with his teammates and friends, along with hanging out and being a normal college kid. That doesn’t mean that basketball takes a back seat though. There’s always time to get a workout in or get some shots up before the rest of his day begins.

“If I don’t have class, I’m sleeping. I like to work out, play some basketball, do some core work, go home, have some apples and peanut butter, and then I love to play video games. Especially beating up on Both [Gach] in 2K. He’s trash at 2K.” Allen said, laughing. “I also like to watch movies. I like to chill on my days off really.”

Allen has a lot in store over the next few years, so Ute fans, enjoy him. There’s a good chance that you could be seeing him play in the NBA before long.


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