BY ADOLPHUS AMES, Eastern Shore Post
The 1999-2000 sports season was a big one for Devin Allen. It was her senior year at Northampton High School and she was named Eastern Shore District Player of the Year in volleyball, basketball, and softball.
She also became the first female basketball player to score 1,000 points for Northampton and helped lead the varsity girls basketball team to its first Eastern Shore district championship.
“At the beginning of the year, I promised my coach, Butch Travis, that I was going to put the first district championship banner in the gym before I graduated,” Allen said. “That was my goal that season.”
Allen, daughter of Debra Allen, grew up in Machipongo. She fell in love with sports at an early age. She started playing parks and recreation basketball at age 4.
“Basketball is my favorite sport,” she said. “I was always watching basketball games on TV and spent a lot of time playing against the boys. You couldn’t keep me out of the gym or off the court.”
In high school, Allen was named first team All-District multiple times and became the first Yellow Jacket athlete to be named first team All-Region for girls basketball.
She averaged over 20 points per game and finished her high school career with more than 1,400 points.
Athletic success of this magnitude requires hard work and dedication.
“You have to play as much as you can to increase your basketball knowledge and basketball IQ,” Allen said. “You have to master the fundamentals of the sport. It takes a lot of time.”
After graduating from Northampton, Allen attended Virginia Wesleyan University from 2000 to 2004. Allen played basketball and softball in college.
On the basketball court, she once again scored over 1,000 points and was named honorable mention All-Conference.
In softball, she played shortstop. She was named second team All-Conference and currently holds the record for career assists, 376.
“It was challenging playing two sports in college,” Allen said. “I had to be very good with time management. There were days where I had weightlifting and conditioning in the morning, then class, followed by softball practice, and then open gym for basketball in the evening.”
Allen moved back to the Shore in 2009 and became involved with the Northampton County school system. Shortly afterward, she became an assistant coach for the Yellow Jackets varsity volleyball team under head coach Cathryn Doughty.
“It’s an honor to coach under the same coach I used to play for,” Allen said. “Doughty and I make a great team.”
Allen also coaches basketball. She coached the junior varsity girls team for several seasons before becoming head coach of the girls varsity team in 2019.
During her first season as coach, she led the team to a district championship and a playoff appearance in the regional semifinals. Allen was named Eastern Shore District Coach of the Year that season.
Since the pandemic, she has been focused on rebuilding the girls basketball program at Northampton.
“Coaching is different from playing,” Allen said. “Being on the sideline requires more patience, but I love it. Coaching is a good way to give back to the community, my alma mater, and my former athletic program.”
Allen gives back to Virginia Wesleyan University as well. She frequently attends games to support the Marlins and participates in the annual alumni basketball and softball games held during homecoming week whenever she is available.
“I love revisiting my old stomping grounds,” she said. “I left a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on the court and field.”