McAllister makes intention known to play at FAMU

Colin McAllister (center) was joined by his father Rev. Julius McAlister and his mother Deana Young McAllester (second from right) and his two siblings.
Photo by Michael Corke

By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer

For as long as Eugene Granger has been coaching Colin McAllister at Maclay School, he has a pretty good idea why the Marauders’ point guard was invited to join the basketball program at FAMU.

It’s work ethic, Granger said.

“Any student athlete that is following their dream to give their time and effort to a sport while going to school means a lot,” said Granger, who was named All-Big Bend Coach of the Year at the end of this past season. “It shows what the sport means to him. He is making the commitment to play and the school (FAMU) is giving him the opportunity to play at the next level. Very few people get that opportunity.”

Granger, McAllister’s teammates and his family were gathered inside the Robert C. Webster Jr. Gym last Tuesday to witness the 17-year-old point guard make his intentions known to become a Rattler. 

“God is very important in my life and without him I wouldn’t be where I am today,” McAllister said. “God gave me exactly what I asked for.”

It is believed that McAllister’s decision to play at home makes him the first Maclay basketball player to join the men’s team at FAMU. 

“If that is true it’s an indescribable accomplishment and I’m very blessed that would be me,” he said. “That only comes around once in a lifetime.”

McAllister will join the Rattlers as a preferred walk-on. He will be attempting to become the first walk-on since Bryce Moragne three seasons ago to make the team. He is also the first point guard from a Tallahassee private school since Byron Taylor, who played at Florida High, was on the team in 2004.

“I’m very excited to go over there and be a part of the basketball program,” McAllister said. “It feels good to have an opportunity and to play ball at the next level.”

McAllister, 5-foot-10, ran the point for the Marauders throughout their post-season run up to the semifinals in the FHSAA District 1-3A state championship tournament.

During his rise to become a leader for the Marauders, McAllister worked with strength and conditioning trainer O’Neil Brown. A huge portion of their workouts focus on developing McAllister’s athleticism, Brown said.

“Functional movement,” Brown said, mentioning what they achieved. “Movements that will be required according to how he plays the game; things that elevate his game to a next level.”

The summer will be about more of the same, McAllister said, as he prepares to compete for a spot on the basketball team. The list of competitors is likely to include veteran players who came through the NCAA transfer portal.

As challenging as that might sound, McAllister is just glad for the chance to prove himself.

“It feels great to know that a coach (Robert McCullum) wants to take a chance on me even though he could have got someone that’s more experienced than me,” McAllister said. “I know this opportunity doesn’t come around a lot for high school guys so I’m going to make the most of my opportunity.”

One thing that should help is Brown’s effort to help McAllister build a body that would be explosive on the floor.

“If you’re not explosive,” he said, “then you’ll get left behind.”

McAllister never let up.

“We just go hard at it every day,” he said. “Never any resting in there. Excuses don’t get results is something he (Brown) likes to say. I go hard every day and when you go hard every day results are bound to happen.”

His results obviously have been good enough to the point that McCullum invited him compete for a spot on the FAMU team.

And, he is eager.

“I want to make a change in Tallahassee and build something for the Rattler fan base,” he said.


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