At 8:52 p.m. on Tuesday evening, January 26, 2016, Craig Tubbs’ 37-year old record as the all-time leading scorer for boys basketball at Portsmouth High School came to an end, after Ky’re Allsion hit a three-pointer late in the third quarter, which sent him into Portsmouth boys basketball history. The record-breaking shot came with 2:11 remaining in the third quarter, followed by an explosive reaction from the crowd.
Allison entered Tuesday night’s game with 1,467 career varsity points, 18 points shy of Tubbs’ record of 1,485, which was set in 1979.
“I was really nervous,” Allison said. “I was in the locker room and I was just thinking to myself, ‘don’t go for it, let it come to you.’”
The game started off a bit rocky for the 6-foot-1-inch senior, as he missed his first several shots.
“I missed those first few shots, and I knew I had to calm down a little bit,” Allison said. “I hit that free throw, and I just knew I had to relax from then on.”
Allison played his usual selfless game, always looking for an open teammate, or where to move the ball. It has become what he is probably most known for, being a true team player, putting his teammates before himself.
Unfortunately, Allison is a rarity in today’s sports, which seem to glorify the individual, as opposed to the team, especially one with the talent Allison has. Portsmouth coach Gene Collins is quick to talk about the selfless play of Allison, and that he, at times, is too selfless on the court, as he seems to always look to get his teammates the ball.
“It is extremely rare, and I really believe that Ky’re will end up playing for someone special because he is a selfless player,” Collins said. “He has been, kind of, under the radar, but there are some quality programs that could use a Ky’re Allison, because he is a pass first, athletic guy.”
Collins admitted to being a little ancy going into Tuesday night’s game. He knew Allison needed 19 points to break Tubbs’ record, and was averaging 22 points a game thus far in the season.
“I knew South Point was going to come in and try to defend, and face guard him,” Collins said. “He only had nine (points) at half, and I looked over in the third quarter and asked how many points he had, and they said he was only six shy, and I was thinking he was about 12 shy. He just kept taking it, and was able to get the record.”
There are a lot of similarities between Allison and Tubbs, according to Collins.
“I was around for Craig Tubbs,” Collins said. “I was five years behind him. Both of them are lefties, and both of them really spend a lot of time working on their craft, and that’s why they are (number) one and two. Those guys do things other people don’t do. They spend countless hours in the gym, working on their craft.”
Collins said he often describes Tubbs as being similar to a young Tiger Woods.
“He (Woods) was beating everybody by 15 strokes, and that was Craig Tubbs,” Collins said. “I grew up around Craig, and he would beat you in ping-pong, he would beat you in pool, Craig would beat you in free throw shooting. Whatever it was, he beat you, but he worked on his craft, and Ky’re is just like him.”
Tubbs was unable to attend Tuesday night’s contest, but sent a congratulatory letter to Allison via e-mail. In the letter, Tubbs wished he was able to attend so he could celebrate with Allison for reaching this milestone.
“This certainly is a memorable night, and I’m very happy for you,” stated Tubbs in the letter. “I reflect back 37 years ago and still have fond memories of that night. So enjoy your night to the fullest! On behalf of the Trojan nation, I’m excited and pleased to congratulate you on your record breaking accomplishment!”
The letter continued on with several more words of encouragement for Allison.
“As you move forward, please take pride in the record and the new mark you have set for future Trojan players aspiring to follow in your footsteps,” Tubbs wrote. “From the former Trojan record holder to the current Trojan record holder, best wishes and continued success in all of your basketball endeavors.”
Allison was prepared to sacrifice the record, if it meant his team would pick up a victory Tuesday night.
“I’m a team player, and I want to get my teammates involved,” Allison said. “I like passing more than scoring, and so I just take my opportunities, and if I score, I score, but I want my teammates to score too. I want to win, every time.”
Allison admitted he wasn’t keeping track of how many points he had in the game, and didn’t realize he broke the record when he hit the three-pointer in the third quarter.
“When I hit the three, I didn’t even know,” Allison said. “I went to play defense again, and then I just heard everybody and I looked around and everyone was standing up. My heart was racing, I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”
Despite scoring 27 points, and breaking Tubbs’ record by nine points, Allison said he isn’t really satisfied.
“Craig Tubbs, he did it in two years, and I did it in four,” Allison said. “Technically, I really didn’t break his record because he did it in two years, and I did it in four. I’ve got to keep working hard, and hopefully I just keep doing what I do and we continue to win.”
Allison has high hopes for his team this year.
“I want to go to state,” Allison said. “We’ve had chances from my freshman year all the way to now, we’ve had chances. Plus, it’s my senior year, and I just want to take all this in because it’s not going to be there forever.”
Allison’s parents were present at the game, rooting on their son with every dribble of the basketball, and shot taken.
Both of Allison’s parents were standout basketball stars in high school, and went on to play at the collegiate level for Shawnee State University. It stands as no surprise that Allison would have a natural draw to basketball.
“I’m so proud of him,” Allison’s mother, Nikki Jackson said. “He has always been a leader, and keeps everyone around him involved.”
Jackson joked that basketball has always been a part of Allison’s life.
“Literally, he had a basketball in his crib from the time he came home from the hospital,” Jackson said. “I played at Shawnee, and his dad played at Shawnee, and I was even playing some while I was pregnant. It’s just in his blood.”
Jackson had never imagined a night like Tuesday would ever happen when Allison first took up basketball.
“I knew he would do great things, but this never crossed my mind,” Jackson said.
She admitted to being nervous as game time approached, and wondered what would happen if he finished the night a few points shy of the record by the game’s end.
As she was talking to Allison in the hallway before the game, Jackson asked her son if he was nervous.
“He said he was a little nervous,” Jackson said. “I told him it’s just another game, but I was really nervous for him.”
Pure joy was the expression used by Jackson when she watched her son hit the record breaking three-point shot.
“I was so happy for him,” Jackson said. “All the stress has went away. Now he can just play basketball and enjoy it, no worries. Whatever happens, happens. As long as he continues to play unselfish and stay healthy, the sky is the limit.”
Corey Allison, Ky’re’s father, was feeling a lot of excitement for his son, and the Portsmouth Trojan fans who have supported the team and his son throughout the years.
“It was only fitting that it happened here, that he did it here, at home,” Corey Allison said. “It was surreal.”
Had it not been for a few postponed games due to snow, the record breaking score most likely would have happened on the road.
“It is just a blessing, I’m just happy,” Corey Allison said.
Corey said watching his son break the record was similar to watching a dream, but being able to remember what happened.
“It was in slow-motion, it was like slow-motion when he made it,” Corey Allison said. “I think I took everything in all last week. I think I was more happy for the school and the community. I was happy for the kids to see it.”
He continued on to say he thought this was something the town needed, and that the moment would hopefully encourage other kids in the area to be inspired to take up a sport and succeed.
Ky’re Allison has one more record to break. While he is the all-time leading scorer for boys basketball at Portsmouth High School, he is still currently 105 points shy of becoming the all-time leading scorer in Portsmouth basketball history.
Currently, Peighton Williams is the all-time high school points leader at Portsmouth. She finished her varsity career with 1,599 points.
Allison has five more regular season games scheduled, along with a few that need to be rescheduled due to postponement as a result of inclement weather. There’s still plenty of basketball left for Ky’re to potentially surpass Williams’ record.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.