Ray Allen, 10-time NBA All-Star, Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee, and Olympic Gold Medalist, spoke with media on Wednesday about his new roles as Director of Basketball Operations and Head Coach of the Varsity Boys’ Basketball team at Gulliver Prep in Miami, FL. The announcement of Allen taking these roles came on August 20th of this year.
We are excited to announce that we have selected Ray Allen as our new Director of Boys and Girls Basketball. He will also serve as our Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach. Coach Allen brings unparalleled expertise to the helm of our basketball programs. Join us in welcoming him! pic.twitter.com/1P6J5c36mp
— Gulliver Preparatory School (@GulliverPrep_) August 20, 2021
“First, I just wanna say what a great honor it is to be able to encourage, motivate, inspire, these young men that I’ve been able to be around for the last couple of months,” said Allen at the start of the press conference.
Allen is a father of five. His four boys, Walter (Ray III), Walker, Wynn, and Wynstan all attend Gulliver. “My desire was to spend time around my children, you know, my family having played 18 years in the NBA,” said Allen.
Family was a large topic of conversation during Allen’s address and he mentioned how his wife encouraged him to take the positions. “The one thing that my wife kept saying is that you’ll never regret spending time with [Walter] and his friends while they’re in high school and have the opportunity to teach them what you know,” said Allen.
It’s a priority for Allen to teach a multitude of Gulliver athletes the lessons he’s learned from his experiences and those who he has played with and against. “I feel there’s so much I know about the game of basketball…and I would be cheating the world if I didn’t let that go,” said Allen.
Allen also spoke about his director positions and what he’s already observed over the past few months. “As a director of basketball here, I’ve had the opportunity to oversee not only the men’s program, but the women’s program, the JV programs, and all the programs that are going on at the lower school at the academy, and that just the same has been fulfilling.”
He hopes to build a culture that will carry on to the lower school and JV programs so when they are ready to make the move to the upper school, players have the same mentality.
“I do believe that one of my goals for this now junior class is to make sure that they all have a chance to have offers where they have the potential to sign the letters of intent next year going to college,” said Allen. He made sure to ask the players what their goals and aspirations were to make sure he addresses them accordingly.
Allen emphasized that the players can be both academically and athletically strong, “My dream is to see these young people achieve both.”
He’s known and watched most of the guys on his team since they were about four or five years old and anticipates the community to support them as they have been this whole time. “I definitely think that we can bring winning basketball here to this school and not just this year, but systematically over the next couple of years,” said Allen.
Allen spoke about his former coaches, such as Jim Calhoun, Nate McMillan, George Carl, Chris Ford, Doc Rivers, and Erik Spoelstra, and how he’s taken something from each of them and applied it to his current responsibility. Allen has been in contact with Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra (Spo) and has been mentored by him. “I’ve been having conversations with Coach Spo. I spent a lot of time with him during Hall of Fame weekend…last week I took the kids on a tour of FTX Arena,” said Allen.
During their visit, they were able to see the behind-the-scenes of a professional team and their facility. One of the staff members they met was a basketball player in high school and is now in ticket sales and sponsorships. What Allen wanted them to take away from that encounter is that there are also opportunities outside of the court that still make an impact on the franchise.
On the topic of winning, Allen said, “I want the real coaching to get done in practice so when they get on the court they have this strong will to win and this competitive fire.”
“We want to win…if we lose, that doesn’t make us losers. We’re still learning something every single day,” said Allen.
Being that this school is in Miami, it gives Allen a chance to give back to the community where he played his final two seasons of NBA basketball and cemented himself in HEAT and league history forever. Allen is stepping into a role previously filled by Gary DeCesare who has been named a McDonald’s All-American coach and will now be coaching in Chicago again.
Raider Nation is excited about this season and the ones to come with Ray Allen. Stay tuned for further coverage on the Gulliver basketball teams!