Athlete of the Week: Allman has nice game on, off court

North Myrtle Beach basketball standout Taylor Allman earned over 22,000 votes, more than any other winner of the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week Award.

But it should come as no surprise given the junior’s popularity among teammates, classmates and coaches. She has an infectious personality that can be both sweet off the court and cut-throat on the court.

“Taylor is a great kid that everyone enjoys being around,” North Myrtle Beach coach Jude Hunt said. “She’s got this bubbly personality and a competitive spirit that rubs off on all the girls.”

Allman has been making friends and baskets on the hardwoods of North Myrtle Beach since playing rec league hoops at the age of 5. She and her current Lady Chief teammates have been together for several years and hope the togetherness pays off this season.

“We basically have the same team back. We only lost one senior so we have a good team going in,” Allman said. “We’re focused on improving and winning the region championship and going farther in the playoffs this year.”

Allman scored 20 and 24 points in the Lady Chiefs’ first two outings but has seen her role change slightly since co-stars India Farmer and Kendricka Bellamy’s return. Her guard/forward role has shifted more toward the former.

But Allman, a two-sport star in basketball and volleyball, is used to making such adjustments. The transition from the flat net to the round one every fall doesn’t come easily.

“It’s running vs. jumping, and there’s no physical contact in volleyball so they’re a lot different,” Allman said. “Then after basketball season I play club volleyball or AAU basketball so I have to switch again.”

Allman is hoping for a change in the basketball season’s outcome this year now that region rival and two-time defending state champion Myrtle Beach suddenly seems vulnerable after losing four seniors from last year’s squad.

“Myrtle Beach always has great teams but we’re very confident we can challenge them this year,” Allman said. “We look forward to a good game against them, but right now we’re just trying to focus on improving every game and coming together as a team.”

And that’s where Allman’s talents – both in basketball and in building relationships – will come in handy for the Lady Chiefs this season.

“Taylor can shoot, but it’s really her ability to drive and get her teammates involved that makes her so dangerous,” Hunt said. “That and her leadership. We didn’t call her ‘captain’ when she was a freshman, but she’s always held that role.”

Photo by Digital Magic Photo

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