Among the biggest stock risers this summer is 2023 guard Vasean Allette of United Scholastic Academy (CAN) and Canada Elite (CAN). The 6’3” Canadian was the 2022 Boys BioSteel All Canadian MVP along with Texas Tech’s Elijah Fisher. Allette’s calling card is his scoring ability and elite ball skills, being able to break down defenders as a self creator and finish at the rim. Some of his notable offensive outbursts include dropping 55 points in a Premier Prep League game and 46 points on the UA Next Circuit against Middlesex Magic (MA). Further, the rising senior led the FIBA U18 Americas Championship in scoring at 18.8 points per game. With his production and potential on full display, Allette has seen his recruitment unlock as high majors have entered the picture.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Allette highlighted his athletic and family background, the progression of Canada’s basketball culture as college coaches converged in Canadian gyms, overcoming adversity and playing at the FIBA U18 Americas this past summer, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Vasean Allette, from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and family.
Vasean Allette: Well, my older brother who is nine years older than me always played basketball as a kid even when he was in high school. So as soon as I was born, I was just born into a basketball environment, a whole basketball family, but basketball wasn't really my first sport. When I was first born, I was closer to my mom’s side of the family. So my uncle played soccer, so I guess I was just put into soccer maybe because of that, I don't know, but I just gravitated towards basketball. It has just always been something I've been just driven to play, driven to do, and it just brought me to where I am today.
PI: Where were your parents from? Were they born and raised in Ontario, Canada?
VA: My pops was born in Montreal and my mom was born here in Toronto.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up besides soccer?
VA: Oh growing up, I played all sports all-year round, but the only sport I was really as good at as I am in basketball was in volleyball. Most people don't know. I was really good at volleyball. I played all sports though, but I kind of took volleyball and basketball seriously up until grade eight and from then, it was just straight basketball.
PI: Any other athletes in the family?
VA: No. My brother, I do have a twin who plays on the same AAU team, same high school team. It's just me and him kind of just carrying that athletic side of the family right now.
PI: What’s it like to have a twin brother and share the court together?
VA: We push each other to be the very best we can be. Also, playing with my twin on the court, it's just fun. So we just have that connection to where he knows where I am. A lot of times I know where he is at all times. Just makes the game more fun having a connection with somebody on the court.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?
VA: My playstyle…I'm a scorer. That's the name I've had my whole life as scorer, but I also like to pass. I feel like my passing is just up there right with my scoring. My strengths would be ball-handling, passing, shooting, stuff like that. So I would describe my game as like I don't know who I could give a comparison to. I watch a lot of guys, but a lot of old school guys. I watch Steve Francis. I watch Allen Iverson, Kobe, stuff like that. So I'd probably say I'm like a scorer, but I also like to pass, get guys involved and then know when to take over a game.
PI: Was there a Canadian player you looked up to growing up?
VA: I definitely watched Andrew Wiggins as a kid. All his high school mixtapes up until where he is now. Of course, it's gotta be [him].
PI: What type of leader are you?
VA: I'm just that one guy where it's like I know the platform I have, so I just try to use that to uplift my teammates. People around me build more confidence in them, 'cause I know that I can't do this alone. I just like to lead my team in the right way, get them their opportunities, get them their confidence and just get us all going.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
VA: Honestly, my off-the-dribble midrange shot. That's the shot that's becoming more popular day in and day out, and it's a shot I don't really do a lot in my game. It’s just I guess it's like an easier way to score. People who guard you either force you to the basket or force you to shoot the ball. I kind of think when you can just dribble, dribble, stop, and pop, it's just an easy way to access the game.
PI: What’s your training regimen?
VA: First, when I get into the gym, we start off with form shooting. We form shoot five spots around right in the key. And then we move out to form mid-range shots and then free throws, mid-ranges again and then 3 pointers in them. And I kind of do that myself before practice and then we get into a practice and after it's kind of like a cool down stretch, go see the trainer, and work on my body, stuff like that.
PI: Reflecting on the past high school season, how was your experience with United Scholastic Academy?
VA: Oh man, that team was great. I’m gonna miss some of the guys that have left this year. We all have been playing with each other for how long so we just all had a great connection on the court. We're all best friends on and off the court, so we brought that into every game. Some great guys to play with man, wow.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
VA: Well, the short term goal is to go Division I. That's been my goal since I was a kid. I see myself as one of the best college players. I do wanna go one-and-done, but I do also want to graduate from college and get my college degree just to say, you know I did it — do it for my mom, do it for myself. Yeah, that's kind of the short term goals I have for myself right now.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
VA: Just honestly building a relationship with the coaches, but not only one coach like the whole coaching staff just so I could see like this place can potentially become my home and be in a place where I'm comfortable that where I know if I go there I'm good. I’d say that's the biggest thing. Just building a relationship with the coaches and seeing their environment is good and seeing the team, the training facility, everything. Everything really falls into place, but I'd say building relationships with the coaches is very crucial in my decision.
PI: Which college coach would you say you’ve formed the closest relationship with and why?
VA: So far I don't know as of right now because remember I just got a lot of this stuff recently, so a lot of coaches have been contacting me day in and day out, but I'd probably say off the top of my head, Coach Johnson from Rhode Island, the assistant coach. I met him as a high school coach. We played against his high school team this year and then he really liked my game after we played them. Always kept in touch and then he took that job at Rhode Island and then there was an offer right away. So I'd probably say him right off the top, yeah.
PI: Besides Rhode Island, who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
VA: I'd probably say UCSB. Coach Joe, the head coach. That's my guy. We talk all the time, yeah.
PI: Who would you like to hear from?
VA: I mean Kentucky has always been one of my dream schools, so I’d probably say them, University of Kentucky. I do like Syracuse. Yeah, I’d probably say those two schools. University of Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina and UCLA have always been my four, so I say those schools.
PI: There are a lot more post-grad options available these days with G League Ignite, OTE, and NBL, among others. Have you and your family done much research into those opportunities?
VA: I haven't heard from them. Not yet, but researched them and seeing the opportunity and stuff, yes I have, 'cause I do have one of my closest friends Leonard Miller who just signed with the G League [Ignite] team. You know that looks like a great opportunity.
PI: With the continued rise in Canadian basketball talent and up-and-comers like yourself, talk a bit about the basketball culture in Canada.
VA: Well, honestly this year is the first year I've ever seen D1 coaches in a Canadian gym like ever in my life, so I’d say that's big. Growing up,
I've never seen that and I've only played in Canada 'cause I'm from Canada, so just seeing the growth from when I was a little kid first starting basketball to how it is now is crazy. Gyms changing, players getting stronger that weren’t really good when they were younger. So there’s a lot of changes, a lot of stuff that just makes Canada basketball what it is.
PI: Is there increased pressure that comes with playing in front of coaches who make the trek up to Canada?
VA: Honestly, I'd say more excitement. I don't really feel pressure 'cause I believe in what I can do with my abilities, so I'd say it's more exciting. It just gives me a chance to showcase what I can do, but it's also exciting to see the college coaches in the crowd coming to watch me, but my boys on the team too just gives us a chance for us all to excel, all to shine.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
VA: Music. I do like music a lot. A lot of my friends make music, so I'd say music.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
VA: Lil Baby. 100%.
PI: Since you’re from Canada, how high is Drake on your list?
VA: Drake is in the top two, but Lil Baby is just…I don't know. Some of his songs, some of his lyrics, I just relate to a lot.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
VA: So does a person count as one?
PI: So a specific person can count as one or a group of people such as a family can also count as one.
VA: Oh okay, so my family. My 3 items, wow. My family, a basketball, and a basketball net.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
VA: #Bucket. Just a bucket. Plain-old bucket. I get buckets.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
VA: I think I'd probably look into being a veterinarian. Me and my brother loved animals as a kid, and that's always been something I've been interested in. Just being an animal doctor and I do love animals, all types. There's not one animal I don't like, so I'd probably say a veterinarian.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
VA: Oh best piece of advice I received is…one of my coaches once told me, it was actually recently. He said “if people are hating on you, then you must be doing something right.” No one's gonna hate on somebody that has nothing.
PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?
VA: Oh my mom. 100% definitely my mom. She's just been doing a lot for us from when we were born to now. She’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life, so I'd say my mom.
PI: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
VA: I'm more of an introvert, actually — yeah.
PI: Talk about a time or story in your life that you feel has really shaped who you are today.
VA: Oh honestly, I'd say in the FIBA Americas, it was my first year playing with Team Canada. A lot of people didn't know how I would adjust to playing that style of basketball you know, so organized and I'd say like the way I responded to it, I'm kind of proud of myself, 'cause I proved a lot of people wrong and turned a lot of heads and that just made me put more confidence in myself and believe myself more in different situations.
PI: What was the most memorable moment at the FIBA U18 Americas?
VA: The most memorable moment of that was probably winning that bronze medal game against Argentina. Yeah, 'cause we lost to them the game when we played them before that, so that was really a great moment. We all came together as a team after that. We're all proud of each other. So yeah, I'd say that moment.
PI: What is something that most people have no idea about you?
VA: Oh, probably people don’t know I’m ambidextrous. I could do everything with my right and left hand, even down to writing.
PI: What is your dream NIL deal and why?
VA: I don't have one. I don't have a dream NIL deal to be honest.
PI: I know some guys already have their own logo on merch and clothing.
VA: Maybe if it came down to it, I'd say any fashion. Any clothing line would be ideal. You know 'cause I like my style. I like what I wear, so I'd say that. Other than that, I don't really know off the top of my head.
PI: Besides the NBA, where do you see yourself in five years?
VA: Financially stable with a wife. Five years from now, I'll be 23. The wife. Maybe one kid. Just my family taken care of, everything taken care of and me just living the life I've dreamt of living since I was a kid.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
VA: I'd say fun, 'cause I'm told I'm fun to be around a lot. You know I'm very inclusive and very open. I'm a competitor. I like to compete. Don't back down. I take competitions and stuff really seriously, so I'm definitely competitive. I'd say I'm loving it. So a loving kid you know I have a big heart. I take other people's situations into consideration when I'm talking to them. You know I just try to be the best me to everybody I talk to. I’d say I'm a dog. Like I’m told I’m a dog all the time. What I mean by that is, I don't back down. I don’t fear anybody. Just be myself and rattle myself to the end.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
VA: I just want to be remembered for just the work ethic I have, the way I approach the game. Also, the way I deal with certain situations and handle certain situations, I want to be kind of that role model for kids to look up to as a “do that, do what he did, handle situations the way he did” rather than to be the “oh don't do it that way, do it another way.” So yeah, I’d say that.