For a single afternoon, everyone in Portsmouth was a Marshall Thundering Herd fan.
That trend may yet continue for the next four years as Trojans’ basketball star Ky’re Allison has signed with the Thundering Herd.
While Allison officially accepted Marshall’s offer on Wednesday, Portsmouth High School decided to honor him with an assembly Friday afternoon. The student body was present as they celebrated the big milestone.
“Ky’re has been the most accomplished player in school history,” said Coach Gene Collins. “He’s beat the odds. Very, very few of high school basketball players go on to play college ball, let alone get a division one scholarship. He did it. The school system and administration just want to celebrate that tremendous feat today.”
Out of the 541,054 high school basketball players, only 3.4% will go on to play at a collegiate level. About 1% will play for a division one program.
With the band blaring the Marshall fight song, “Sons of Marshall”, students, faculty and his family gathered to give Allison one last standing ovation in his old gym where he had put up so many points and won so many games.
“It really means a lot,” said Corey Allison, Ky’re’s father. “We’ve come a long way and beat a lot of odds. Sometimes it’s not easy to get recognition as an athlete in this area. But we knew from a young age that this was possible for him. We decided to go after the dream and support him the whole way. We are just so happy for him.”
“We are overjoyed, blessed, excited and that doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel,” laughed Ky’re’s mother, Nikki Jackson. “We knew he would get here. Literally he came home from the hospital with a basketball in his crib. We could never keep him out of the gym. I’m extremely proud, it’s like hitting the lottery. I see him coming in and breaking records at Marshall, he can do it. But just to be here means so much.”
After the assembly was over, many students stuck around to personally congratulate Allison. They took pictures, shared a laugh, or embraced him as a way of saying thank you one last time. One thing is for certain, Marshall gained many fans from the ranks of the Trojans when Allison signed his name and decided to don the Green and White of the Thundering Herd.