ShareThis Page
News Columnists

Telling it like it is: Rumor is untrue

Kevin Gorman
| Sunday, Aug. 17, 2003

Charel Allen is used to hearing her basketball feats told as stuff of legend, from her WPIAL Class A finals-record 39 points as a freshman to the 52 in a game last season.

Rumors, however, are another story.

When one of her AAU teammates called this summer to ask Allen if she had committed to Penn State, Allen was stunned by the conversation.

The 5-foot-10 guard from Monessen has scholarship offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and Georgetown and also is receiving interest from Maryland, Notre Dame and Syracuse. Allen said she has crossed Pitt and WVU off her list because she doesn't like their campus settings.

But at this point, she isn't close to deciding.

"They're all great schools and great coaching staffs, but I don't want to say one is a favorite," Allen said. "There's rumors out there that I made a verbal to Penn State. That's not true. I didn't. If you want to find out, call me."

That's what the coaches have done since June 1. They called Allen, they mailed letters to her, they followed her Western Pa. Bruins team to tournaments across the country.

Perhaps, the Penn State rumors started because Lady Lions coach Rene Portland has been the most visible of the coaches recruiting Allen.

"It's nice to see the head coach interested," Allen said. "Usually, the assistants do the recruiting. It's different to see the head coach's face. It showed me she's seriously interested. She wanted to see how I play for herself."

Portland drove through a snowstorm to see Monessen play at Clairton this past winter and found the doors locked upon her arrival. She talked her way in and stood courtside.

"I noticed her because she was standing by the floor," Allen said. "That's how I pinpointed her. I knew her face."

Allen's face became familiar to girls basketball followers after that 39-point performance against Clairton and Kamela Gissendanner three years ago. Since then, she has been arguably one of the WPIAL's top players -- boys or girls -- and a sometimes unstoppable scoring machine.

Each year, Allen has increased her scoring average. She went 23.5 points per game as a freshman to 24.8 as a sophomore to 29.9 last season, when she guided the Greyhounds back to the WPIAL Class A finals and was named first-team all-state.

Allen told college coaches that she felt like her shot needed work, but what they like is her drive and determination. Although she missed seven of her first eight shots and all eight 3-point attempts en route to 12 of 36 shooting in the WPIAL final loss to Serra, Allen never stopped attacking the basket. She finished with 28 points and 20 rebounds.

Allen became the 31st WPIAL girls player to surpass 2,000 points when she dropped 52 on Trinity Christian last season. She now has 2,300 points and an outside shot to pass Monessen's Gina Naccarato (3,364) as the WPIAL's all-time scoring leader this season.

Allen, however, isn't one-dimensional. She is a skilled, fluid player who can dribble, pass, rebound and defend, as evidenced by her 11.4 rebounds, 7.2 steals and 4.8 assists per game as a junior.

She is starting to get interested in women's college basketball, attending the Pitt-Penn State game last season and watching other games on television.

"It was hard to catch them on TV," Allen said, "because only the games involving big-time schools like UConn and Tennessee are televised much."

Not that Allen is considering UConn or Tennessee.

"If somebody out of the blue called, it's pretty late," Allen said. "At this point, I must be last on their list, and everybody turned them down."

Allen said she has four home visits scheduled for September, starting with Penn State, then Georgetown, Maryland and Notre Dame. She intends to make official visits to the four schools, then decide by November's early signing period.

If you hear it any different, it's just a rumor.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me