Curtis Allen is a 29 year old 193cm guard from Long Beach that has been a professional basketball player for seven seasons. He played at three schools starting with Kansas State from 2004-2006 where he played 43 NCAA games, ORU (NCAA) and Lewis-Clark St. (NAIA) where as a senior he averaged 16.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 2.1apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 63.6%. In 2009 he started his professional basketball career with the Music City Stars (ABA). In the 2010-2011 season he played for Voru KK (Estonia-KML) playing 11 games: 19.1ppg, 10.5rpg, 2.8apg, 2.2spg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 40.0%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 70.3%. In the 2011-2012 season he played for BK Inter Bratislava (Czech Republic-NBL) playing 13 games: 11.8ppg, 6.1rpg, 1.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 51.6%, 3PT: 20.5%, FT: 70.6%; in Dec.’11 moved to U.M.F. Tindastoll (Iceland-Express League) playing 16 games: 16.9ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.8apg, Steals-2(2.8spg), FGP: 47.1%, 3PT: 27.0%, FT: 69.6%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for BK Iskra Svit (Slovakia-Extraliga): 15 games: 14.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.2apg, Steals-4(1.9spg), FGP: 47.9%, 3PT: 27.1%, FT: 64.2%, left in Jan.’13, in Feb.’13 moved to Levharti Chomutov (Czech Republic-NBL, starting five): 15 games: 15.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.1apg, Steals-4(1.9spg), FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 73.0%. In the 2013-2014 season he played for Al Morog (Libya-D1). In the 2014-2015 season he played for KB Trepca Mitrovice (Kosovo-SuperLeague), left shortly, then moved to Slavia TU Kosice (Slovakia-1.Liga): 11 games: 18.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.6apg, 2.1spg, 2FGP: 66.3%, 3PT: 29.1%, FT: 77.0%. Last season he played for Itzehoe Eagles (Germany-ProB): 11 games: 5.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.4apg, FGP: 31.1%, 3PT: 15.0%, FT: 59.1%, left in Jan.’16, then moved to BBC Lausanne (Switzerland-LNB): 8 games: 16.4ppg, 7.6rpg, 1.3apg, 3.1spg, 2FGP: 46.5%, 3PT: 31.4%, FT: 58.1%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Curtis thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to interview me. At the moment I am in LA enjoying my summer, balancing spending time with my family and working out.
You have played six seasons in Europe and there were some years where you got signed very late into the season at times in the second half. Do you sense like this could be one of those seasons once again where you will be at home waiting for the phone to ring than getting on a plane soon to get back to Europe?
Every year I believe that I am going back to Europe in August. I train as if I am leaving in August every offseason. I always try to think positive even in the worst situation.
Your turning 30 in a few months and not getting an younger. Are you thinking more about your career now then maybe five years ago simply because a professional basketball career doesn´t go on forever especially in a player´s 30´s?
I always think about my career, I played all over Europe. But as I get older I think more about my family and being more stable. I feel like every team needs someone thats a veteran and I don’t mind being that guy!!
In six seasons, you have played in 8 countries. Do you at times feel like a basketball globetrotter?
haha…That’s pretty funny I never compared it to being a globetrotter, but at times I do feel like I have played everywhere. I just love basketball and that is the fun part about basketball, you get to travel and see the world. I just want to continue to play as long as possible if God is willing!!!
How would sell yourself best to nay team now as to why you could help them this season?
I am an experienced player who does everything to win. An athletic combo guard that can play both ends of the floor, Make everyone around me better. I can play multiple positions and am a shut down defender.
Last year, you had a season to forget at first, but closed it out strong in Switzerland. You have been a scorer everywhere you have played in Europe, but all of a sudden with the Itzehoe Eagles(Pro), you were averaging only 5,5ppg in 15,9 minutes per game. How would you summarize your few months in Germany?
I would summarize my few months in Germany an a“Great Experience”. Just for the simple fact that I always wanted to visit Germany because it has so much history and the people I came across made sure I was welcome. I loved the food.
How frustrating was it not playing more in a third rate league. Did it feel humiliating?
Pro B you can only play two Americans at a time. Most teams didn’t have more than three. My team had four Americans which was very difficult to balance out playing time. Also I was the most athlete player on my team so at times we would go small and I would play the position four. Early into the season I pulled my groin and suffered a high ankle sprain. So yes I was frustrated because I finally got my opportunity to play in Germany and wanted to make sure I did good. I know I can play and compete with anyone.
Did you not see eye to eye with head coach Pat Elzie
No bad feelings with Pat. I felt like Coach Pat had a lot of trust and confidence in me as a player but wasn’t the right fit at the time.
You helped Lausanne win the LNB title. Was this even more sweeter than winning the Slovakian title with Slavia TU Kosice concerning the circumstances that started the season?
I think winning a title on any level is a big accomplishment no matter what the circumstances are. I do feel like winning the LNB title was huge because I finally got to relax and just play basketball.
People mostly see the beautiful summer pictures of Lausanne or Montreux at lake Geneva, but what is it like to live in its very beautiful place in winter?
I have been fortunate enough to play in some really nice countries. I was very surprised when I arrive in Lausanne. The scenery is amazing like you have to visit because words can’t express. The country is very clean and fresh air. I lived alongside the lake in a city called Vevey, so every morning I would just go outside to clear my head before practice or games.
You closed out last season strong so are you feeling confident now that you will find a team for this season?
I feel very confident I will find a team just have to continue to have faith, believe in God, stay focus and just trust the process.
Let´s talk a little about your game. You are a pure scorer. To what NBA player would you compare your game too if you had too?
I really don’t like doing this lol because you get a lot of heat coming from your friends. But If I had to compare my game to a NBA player I try to pattern my game after Jimmy Butler because he plays both ends of the floor
Is your three point accuracy still a work in progress at age 29?
I think my three point accuracy is always going to be a work in progress just because I am never satisfied. I know where I should be playing and for me to do that I have to continue to work on my weakness as well as my strengths
You won your first professional title with Slavia TU Kosice in 2015. How special was that title and I guess one could say with the two Curtis´s this probably wouldn´t have happened
That title was very special because I went overseas for the second half of season, so I was eager to get back on the floor. Once I arrived and the talent we had I knew we could do something special. Can’t take all the credit, shout out to Deshaun Curtis for holding me down.
You played a season with Al Morog (Libya-D1). Did you have any over night parties in a palace? What was your most unforgettable experience there?
Africa was great no night parties in a palace, but I did live in a big house. Libya is a very strict country so a lot times we will go to a teammates house or stay home and play video games. My most unforgettable experience there was driving by the Gaddafi palace and riding jet ski in the Mediterranean Sea.
In your second professional season you played for U.M.F. Tindastoll (Iceland-Express League) How short was the shortest road trip that season?
In Iceland we had the longest road trips!!! We was the furthest team out, so each away game was at least 5 hours smh.
As a rookie in Europe, you played for Voru KK (Estonia-KML). What was your wake call where you knew that you were very far away from home in Long Beach, California?
As rookie I was very excited and nervous at the same time. I really didn’t know what to expect. I talked to all my friends that was already playing overseas. They just told me to make sure I have a laptop and great internet. When I was in Estonia the weather was crazy especially the winter. I knew I was very far away from home when you had to walk backwards to avoid the strong wind.
After finishing at Lewis-Clark St. (NAIA) in 2009 you played semi-pro ball with the Music City Stars (ABA) and Long Beach Lights Out (WCBL). How difficult was this period for you? How big was the belief that your career would go further than just the lower minor leagues in the states?
Playing semi pro ball in the states was a little challenging because I knew where I wanted to play, and that was Europe. I already had close friends playing at the time so that would keep me going because if they can do it I know I can. Once I finally got a chance to start my career in Europe was excited but still not satisfied because I am still not where I want to be.
Do you feel like coming from the NAIA scared away teams in Europe in general that first season?
I didn’t think coming from a NAIA school scared teams in Europe away because I have experienced playing at the highest level in college and I always felt like if I can get an opportunity from any teams to see me play in person I believe they would like me more instead of watching film.
You played two seasons at Kansas State, but never really got a chance from head coach Jim Wooldridge despite him proclaiming you as the teams´s best athlete. Was leaving and going to Oral Roberts the right choice 10 years later if you look back at that situation?
I mean I would never know if leaving Kansas State and going to Oral Roberts was the best situation. But I do know as I got older when you commit or start something you need to finish the task no matter what the situation is.
What did you really appreciate about the two seasons there playing against the best players in the nation? Do you have a memory of a battle with a future NBA player on the floor?
I appreciate everything that went on at Kansas State. The university was everything I could imagine, something you see on TV. At the time when I was at K State the Big 12 was the best conference in the nation after the ACC. I don’t really have one particular memory that stood out while I was playing at Kansas State besides playing in front of 14,ooo people every night!!!!!
You also saw limited action at Oral Roberts. Was here also a falling out with coach Sutton?
Oh no!!! Coach Sutton is a good person I have nothing but respect for what he has done at Oral Roberts.
Did you ever see a better shooter than Moses Ehambie? What was your fondest memory of him on and off the court?
Man this is a tough question, a better shooter than Moses!!?!?!?! haha I can tell you this, he is the best shooter I ever had as a teammate. My most fondest memory of him on and off the court is he personally gave me a bible and wrote a nice message inside.
You finished your school career at Lewis-Clark St. (NAIA): 16.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 2.1apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 48.8%, 3PT: 14.3%, FT: 63.6%. Do you feel like you matured into a good basketball player here?
I felt like I gained more confidence and it made me appreciate the things I took for granted coming from a top division one college.
If you had to construct your NBA Rushmore with the 4 best heads ever who would you choose?
Since I can only pick four on my NBA Rushmore I would choose MJ, Kobe, Shaq, Allen Iverson!!!
Lebron finally won an NBA title with the Cavs. Where does he stand now with the all-time greatest that ever played?
I feel a lot of people hate on Lebron, We haven’t seen a player like him so embrace him and appreciate his talent. But I’m not sure where he stands with the all-time greatest ever played. I will answer that question in our next interview.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Purge 3, It was ok nothing like the first two.
Thanks Curtis for the chat.