The third of five children, Ray Allen was born at Castle Air Force Base near Merced, California, the son of Flora and Walter Allen, Sr. A military child, he spent time growing up in Saxmundham in England, Altus in Oklahoma, Edwards Air Force Base in California, and Germany. He attended high school in Dalzell, South Carolina, where he led Hillcrest High School to a basketball state championship.
Allen attended the University of Connecticut from 1993-1996 after being recruited by assistant coach Karl Hobbs. While at UCONN he earned All-American status and was named USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year in 1995. In 1995-96, his final college season, Allen was a first-team All-American and won the Big East Player of the Year award. Allen finished his UConn career third on the Huskies' career scoring list with 1,922 points and set a single-season school record by connecting on 115 three-pointers in 1995-96.
In 2001, he was named honorary captain of the 25-member UConn All-Century Basketball Team. On February 5, 2007, his name and number were honored at Connecticut's Gampel Pavilion during the "Huskies of Honor" ceremony at halftime of the men's basketball game against the Syracuse Orange.
Allen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. Immediately after his selection, Allen and Andrew Lang were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to fourth pick Stephon Marbury. Allen was a member of the NBA's All-Rookie 2nd Team in 1996. During the 2000-01 season, he won the 3-point shootout during All-Star Weekend; was selected to the All-NBA Third Team; and led the Bucks, as part of Milwaukee's "Big Three," alongside Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson, to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Allen remained with the Bucks midway through the 2002-03 season, when he was dealt to the Sonics, along with Ronald Murray, former UConn teammate Kevin Ollie, and a conditional first round draft pick, in exchange for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason. After an injury-riddled 2003-04 season, he was named to the All-NBA 2nd Team and, alongside teammate Rashard Lewis, led the Sonics to the Conference Semifinals in 2005.
In the 200607 regular season, he averaged a career-high 26.4 points per game while adding 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
During his Seattle SuperSonics tenure, Allen achieved many individual accomplishments. On March 12, 2006, Allen became the 97th player in NBA history to score 15,000 points. On April 7, 2006, Allen moved into second place on the NBA's list of all-time 3-point field goals made, trailing only Reggie Miller. On April 19, 2006, Allen broke Dennis Scott's 10-year-old NBA record for 3-point field goals made in a season in a game against the Denver Nuggets. (The record has since been broken by Stephen Curry.)
On January 12, 2007, Allen scored a career-high 54 points against the Utah Jazz in a 122114 overtime win, the second most in Sonics history. Shortly after, he had ankle surgery on both ankles and missed the remainder of the 2006-07 season.
On June 28, 2007, the Sonics traded Allen and Glen Davis, the 35th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, to the Celtics in exchange for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and the fifth overall pick, Jeff Green. Shortly after acquiring Allen, the Celtics acquired Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett to play alongside Allen and Paul Pierce.
On November 4, 2007, Allen passed 17,000 points for his career with his first of two 3-pointers in overtime in a 98-95 victory against the Toronto Raptors, in which he sank the game winning 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in overtime.
On February 13, 2008, Allen was named by NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace injured East All-Star Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.
On March 28, 2008, Allen was honored as the third best of the 20 greatest players in franchise history during Milwaukee's 40th Anniversary Team Celebration, but he could not attend the festivities because of the Celtics' game against the New Orleans Hornets. The Boston Celtics finished 66-16, and were the No. 1 seed in the 2008 NBA Playoffs. The Celtics struggled in the first two rounds of the playoffs, losing every single away game, but maintaining an undefeated playoff record at home. The Celtics had defeated the No. 8 seeded Atlanta Hawks 4-3 and then defeated the No. 4 seeded Cleveland Cavaliers 4-3 as well. They advanced to the 2008 NBA Finals after a 4-2 Conference Finals series win over the Detroit Pistons.
On June 12, 2008, Allen would play all 48 minutes and contribute greatly with 19 points and 9 rebounds in what would become the largest comeback in NBA Finals history, with the Celtics coming back from a 24-point deficit at one point in the second quarter and a deficit as large as 20 in the third. In that game, Allen would make the game clinching layup with 16.4 seconds remaining to give the Celtics a 5-point lead and put the game away.
On June 17, 2008, in the series-ending Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Allen tied an NBA Finals record with seven three-pointers in the Celtics' 13192 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, and also broke the record for three-pointers made in a NBA Finals series with 22, eclipsing the previous record of 17 by Dan Majerle and Derek Harper. With the victory, Allen secured his first NBA championship.
On February 5, 2009, Allen was named as the All-Star replacement for Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson. This marked Allen's ninth time on the All-Star team and the second straight year he has made it alongside teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
On February 22, 2009, with his streak ending at 72, Allen broke the Celtics franchise record in consecutive free throws made previously set by Larry Bird (71).
In Game 2 of the 2009 playoffs, Allen nailed the game winning three-pointer at the end of regulation with two seconds left to cap off an impressive 30-point night. In Game 6, despite a Boston loss, Allen managed to score 51 points. Boston ended up winning the series in seven Games. He reunited with former teammate and co-captain of the Seattle Sonics, Rashard Lewis in the Conference Semifinals, this time as opponents, however. After four games and a 22 series tie, his highest scoring game was a 22-point performance in a Game 2 victory.
On December 10, 2009, Allen scored 18 points to reach the 20,000 point total for his career.
On June 6, 2010, in Game 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals in a 103-94 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, Allen set the record for most three-pointers made in an NBA Finals game on 8-11 shooting. He broke Michael Jordan's record of six three-pointers in one half by hitting seven in the first half and had tied Scottie Pippen and Kenny Smith's record for most three-pointers in one game in the NBA Finals by half time. Allen also became the first player in NBA history to have two separate games of scoring at least seven three-pointers in the NBA Finals. In the following game, on June 8, 2010, Allen was one miss shy of tying the NBA Finals record of most consecutive missed shots, going 0-13 from the field, including 0-8 from the three-point line. He did, however, manage to score two points from the free throw line.
After becoming a free agent on July 1, 2010, Allen re-signed a two year-deal with the Boston Celtics on July 7 worth $20 million.
During a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10, 2011, Allen became the all-time NBA leader in total three-point field goals made (2,562), surpassing Reggie Miller's record of 2,560. The 35-year-old shooting guard finished the game with 20 points but the Celtics eventually lost 92-86. In the 2010-11 NBA season Allen was named to his tenth All-Star game alongside teammates Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
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