Herbie Allen isn’t your traditional streetball story.
While other former New York City basketball greats are driven by the opportunity to play professionally overseas, Allen is content for now with pursuing the game he loves in a different way. Allen currently works for CBS Sports. He described his job as watching college basketball games, knowing what players are transferring and updating the website.
“This job pays more than my first job overseas,” the former Bishop Loughlin guard said. “It’s something I love.”
Allen said the job has kept him from actively pursuing an agent and he is happy for now to possibly take a year off and save money before trying to reboot his career overseas. He has played professionally both in Belize and with the New Jersey Express of the ABA.
The stint in Belize opened up another opportunity for the Rosedale native after he got his citizenship from the Central American nation, something he thought would help his career. Allen played the last two summers with the country’s national team, including in the Central Basketball Championship last year.
“It’s different than American basketball,” Allen said of international play. “Guys really flop out there. It’s more physical out there. It’s a different style of game. There really are no set big men. Everyone seems like a guard.”
He isn’t a bad one himself.
Allen was one of the top point guards in the city during his time at Bishop Loughlin HS. As a senior, he was a key component of the Lions’ team that reached the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens final in 2005. He scored 32 points in a semifinal win over Christ the King, including the winning basket with four seconds remaining. He averaged nearly 13 points per game as a senior and that year played in the Jordan Classic Regional game, leading the city team with 19 points and four three-pointers.
He spent the next four seasons at Fairfield University. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Allen averaged 9.6 points per game and 2.8 assists as a senior in 2009. The Stags went 17-15 that year and 9-9 in conference. Allen scored a team-high 19 points in the team’s 80-65 loss to top-seeded Siena in the MAAC semifinals.
Since then, the elusive and sure-handed Allen has showcased his game on the streets of New York City, this season playing with the Rosedale Trailblazers. He competes in Hoops in the Sun, Dyckman, Kingdome and Tri-State.
He has also acquired the nickname The Love Bug, after the namesake car in the 1968 Walt Disney movie.
“I didn’t like it at first, but now it’s grown on me,” Allen said.
So has his current job, but that doesn’t mean he thinks his professional basketball career is over.
“I want to get a contract in Europe,” Allen said. “That is my ultimate goal.”