Few basketball players in Hutchinson Community College history will be remembered more fondly than Kadeem Allen.
Maurice Brittian and Roy Hairston, who helped Hutchinson win national championships in 1988 and 1994, come to mind right away.
But even those two legendary Blue Dragons weren’t named NJCAA national player of the year — something Allen accomplished Monday, the first player in school history to win the award.
Allen's exact place among the greatest Blue Dragons can be debated, but coach Steve Eck said Allen had earned the chance to be in the discussion.
"I haven't been around HCC all my life, but his stats prove it," Eck said. "He very well could have been the second leading scorer in school history, but he missed four games. He's just a really good player."
Allen, a 6-foot-3 guard from Wilmington, N.C., was the first Blue Dragon ever to be named first-team All-American twice. He was also the first Blue Dragon ever to win Jayhawk West player of the year twice. Allen signed to play for Arizona before the season.
Allen's statistics indicate perhaps the most well-rounded player in school history. He finished third in school history with 1,425 points, behind only Hairston (1,687) and Tyrone Jones (1,461).
Allen was second in school history with 324 assists, and he was second with 157 steals. He also showed he could rebound as he finished with nine career games with double-digit rebounds, including eight this season.
"He played both ends of the court," Eck said. "He played defense and offense. He had a good enough shot to keep you honest, and he could also penetrate and get to the line, or he could find one of his teammates."
Allen had seven double-doubles this season, and he also had the school's first triple-double when he had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists during a November win against Redlands, Okla.
Allen also flirted with the single-game scoring record of 46 points by scoring 41 in a January win against Allen Community College.
Allen is just the second HCC athlete in any sport to be named NJCAA player of the year. in 2008, defensive lineman Eugene Kinlaw was named NJCAA national defensive player of the year.