The decision for Antoine Allen came in late last week.
The former Lake Clifton combo guard, who spent his freshman year at Miami, has signed with UNC-Wilmington of the Colonial Athletic Association.
"Well, I think it was UNC-Wilmington, Marshall and Arizona in the final list," said Anthony Lewis, Allen's AAU coach at Cecil Kirk. "I just think he wanted to find a fit where he's going to step in and make an impact this time. It's an opportunity for him to grow and be an impact guy on the team, and also in the league."
At UNC-Wilmington, Allen will suit up for another former Laker, Hurricane and Cecil Kirk player. Kevin Norris, who starred at Lake Clifton and Miami in the 1990s, was hired by the Seahawks as an assistant coach last week.The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Allen averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals during the 2007-08 season, earning first-team All-Metro honors. Allen helped guide the Lakers to the Baltimore City and Class 3A North regional championships in 2008.
"[Allen's best attributes are] his athleticism, his ability to put the ball on the floor and his ability to shoot the basketball," Lewis said.
Allen appeared in just 17 games for the Hurricanes as a freshman, averaging 2.9 points and 0.8 rebounds. He shot 41.7 percent from 3-point range and was named to the ACC's All-Academic team, but Lewis said he was looking for more playing time.
"I think he just wanted a chance for a fresh start," Lewis said.
At UNC-Wilmington, Allen will get that opportunity. He joins a program with a brand-new staff, including head coach Buzz Peterson. The former Tennessee, Tulsa, Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State coach made Allen his second recruit since taking over the Seahawks' program in April.
"Antoine is an excellent basketball player and a solid student," Peterson said in a news release. "He was an outstanding high school player and has all the tools to help our program. He's a strong perimeter shooter with great speed and ball handling skills."
Baltimore Sun photo of Antoine Allen by Kenneth K. Lam / March 18, 2008