With the prestigious Hoophall Classic rolling through Phoenix, Arizona this past month, Pro Insight was on hand to catch all of the top teams and prospects in attendance, including IMG Academy (FL). Although IMG Academy showcases a crop of high profile prospects such as 2024 five-star Bryson Tucker, Maryland signee Jamie Kaiser Jr., 2024 top-30 forwards Khani Rooths and Amier Ali, and future Georgia Tech guard Blue Cain, it is also the developmental ground for budding 2025 underclassmen Jamier Jones and Amari Allen. Enter Allen, a 6’7” wing with strong positional size, athleticism, and two-way upside. The 2025 prospect started learning the game from his grandfather Tom Servais and picked up a basketball when he was three years old. Last season, he averaged 22.7 points as a freshman for Kaukauna HS (WI) and made the transition to play in the NIBC prior to his sophomore year.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Allen talked about having a mindset of preparation, modeling his game after Jalen Johnson and Jayson Tatum, his recruitment update including visiting Auburn and being open to pro options, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Amari Allen, from Kaukauna, Wisconsin:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about the transition to IMG Academy — how has it been so far?
Amari Allen: I love it. I’m going against better players every day in practice, every game. It's way different than in the public school. It gets you more developed for the next level.
PI: How do you stay ready for when your number is called?
AA: Sometimes things get hard, but just trying to pick my teammates up, keep the energy on the bench. Whenever my number’s called, always be ready. Just be into the game at all times of the game.
PI: How did you get to where you are today?
AA: I grew up with my mom and my grandpa. My grandpa taught me how to play basketball and ever since then, I kind of just fell in love with it and stuck with it.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
AA: Oh yeah, I played football and baseball, but I stopped at around eighth grade and focused on basketball.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?
AA: I'm like a stretch wing. I can shoot, get downhill, finish above the rim, play defense, do a little bit of everything, create for others. I'm high intensity, I like to get into it, a chippy player.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
AA: A more recent player that went into the NBA is Jaylen Johnson who is from Wisconsin, and then I like watching Jayson Tatum, as well.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
AA: Just help my team win, try and get to GEICO Nationals, and do as good as we can this season.
PI: Turning a bit to recruitment, you recently visited Minnesota — which schools are you hoping to visit in the near future?
AA: Yeah, I'm planning on getting to Auburn sometime this spring.
PI: Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
AA: I would say Auburn, Minnesota, and Wisconsin-Green Bay.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
AA: Just whatever place that will fit me best. You know, whoever shows the most love and wherever I feel at home.
PI: There are a lot more post-grad options available these days with G League Ignite, OTE, and NBL, among others. Would you be open to such opportunities?
AA: Yeah, I'll leave all options open. Whatever is best for me in my future.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
AA: I like hanging out with my friends, going to the beach, just typical high school stuff you know.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
AA: Yeah, I’m going to have to go with NBA YoungBoy and Lil Baby, for sure.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
AA: I would say #Gritty. That's all.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
AA: Just always keep working, push through the hard times and keep your head even.
PI: Name a few words that best describe you.
AA: I would say hard worker and gym rat.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
AA: I hope to be remembered on the court just as a hard player that gives his all, tries and does whatever he can to make his team win. Off the court, just a good kid, you know. Nice to everyone. The same to everyone.