LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – In one season at New Mexico State, Teddy Allen became one of the most beloved Aggies in recent memory, after leading NMSU to its first NCAA Tournament win in 29 years.
After becoming a household name in March when he scored 37 points in a first round NCAA Tournament victory over UConn, Allen is now working and training for the NBA Draft, hoping to hear his name called in one of the Draft’s two rounds on June 23.
He entered his name in the Draft back in March and has been working out in the Phoenix area ever since, getting ready it. His hard work has paid off; Allen was in Indianapolis on Monday, working out for the Indiana Pacers.
The 2021-22 WAC Player of the Year went through a series of drills with other prospects on hand at the Pacers’ training facility. ‘Teddy Buckets’ averaged 19.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for the Aggies last season and now his task when working out for NBA teams is to prove that his game can translate to the next level, and that he’s a high-character person.
“I just feel grateful, when you come in these facilities and I think about everything I’ve been through and I’ve just grateful to even have this opportunity,” Allen told James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star on Monday.
Allen said his showing vs. UConn was a great resume booster and that if given the opportunity to play in the NBA, his game was similar to that of Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies) or Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics).
With three weeks remaining until the 2022 NBA Draft, Allen will likely have a few more workouts with NBA teams, as he hopes to make his lifelong dream come true.
“I used to pretend to be Kobe, Deron Williams, LeBron out there in the driveway, so to see myself now, it’s a dream to see yourself become what you always wanted to be,” said Allen. “I think my biggest strength is that I’m mentally tough. I can come in every day and be an every day guy, practicing hard, working hard, loving the game. Obviously I can score the ball, but I feel like I bring a lot to the team toughness-wise on both ends of the floor.”
Allen is not the only player with Borderland ties hoping to hear his name called later this month. Former UTEP standouts Jamal Bieniemy and Bryson Williams have also held workouts with NBA squads in recent weeks, with Bieniemy working out for the Houston Rockets and Williams working out for the Orlando Magic.
If neither Allen, Bieniemy, nor Williams get drafted on June 23, their NBA dream isn’t over. It’s highly likely that all three of them will find their way on to an NBA Summer League roster, or to the NBA G-League and give themselves an opportunity to prove why they should be on an NBA roster.