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Blog Entry

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:46 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 2:47 pm
 
By Matt Norlander

No matter the circumstances that lead to it, there's always a certain tone of sadness and regret that comes with the news of a former college athlete's death. It's different from a regular-person death, if you get what I mean -- especially if it happens at a young age.

Fair or not, right or wrong, doesn't it always feel like there was a helplessness attached to it? Maybe it's because so many of these players escape from an environment thanks to their abilities, and seeing them tumble back toward that later in life is saddening. I barely remember watching Desmond Allison play for Kentucky, yet today I'm hamstrung over the fact he was killed in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, the victim of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Police say he was shot in the chest along with another man at an apartment complex in Columbus. Allison was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other man was injured, but no word on his condition.
Who is this other man? We still don't know. The scenario that led to this shooting is still unknown, too. What a sad picture, though. An argument in the afternoon between who knows how many people led to the discharge of bullets.

The 31-year-old Allison was a two-year member of the UK team, from 1998-2000. He was kicked off the squad after an arrest for a DUI and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. He averaged 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game his sophomore year.

His public, athletic life, for all intents and purposes, ended then. Tampa Bay Online spoke with Allison's high school coach, Scott Wagers, Monday night.

"It’s another tragedy from Robinson," he said. "It’s unbelievable. ... Desmond was the ultimate competitor," Wagers said. "He competed at everything. If we did a drill, he tried to beat your butt at it. I remember a game when he had a 102 temperature. He would wink at me when he wanted to come out of the game. I had a trash can where he could throw up. Then he’d take some Gatorade and get back out there. He had a basketball I.Q. off the charts."

Allison graduated from Robinson in 1998 as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,280 career points, the fourth most in Hillsborough County history.

Tracy McGrady gave Allison high praise on Twitter Monday night, upon hearing the news.

He'd faced four arrests in the years after leaving Kentucky, but this story, from the St. Petersburg Times in 2005, showed the life Allison came to embrace. He was playing low-end professional football in Vermillion, S.D., five years removed from Kentucky hoops. Allison was recruited in hoops and football out of high school. He was an incredible athlete. But he could never find his way. The story linked above includes a coach asking this of Allison: "Desmond, am I going to your funeral next?"

Chilling, foreshadowing, foreboding and must-read material today.

Additionally, former colleague here at the blog, Matt Jones, has a good perspective post at Kentucky Sports Radio on who Allison was and what his time at Kentucky meant. Also: how he threw it away. An athlete gone too soon, and in such a sad, wasteful way. Gunfire on a Columbus afternoon. Thoughts and prayers to those who knew Allison well.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: July 31, 2011 12:49 am
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

Like an earlier poster, I was disturbed to learn that the death of a regular person is apparently not as important or sad as the death of a college athlete. I read this article a few hours ago and tried to twist my mind enough to understand the author's point. I failed. I'd like to think that most of us make a difference in our own little corner of the world - even if we are not famous athletes.

Unfortunately, the one silly line took away from the rest of the story.




Since: May 23, 2011
Posted on: July 29, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

Ok cape didnt a Duke player just commit suicide not that long ago?But i will not make a statement such as yours about that.As with this man here also, its uncalled for to be disrespectin anyone who has died no matter how it happenned.I feel sorry for the familys of both these men.Sports doesnt mean crap to the big picture and its time some of you put your chilidish ways aside and have a little respect.



Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

but what kind of idiot posts something like MikeSyr18 did? You can bash UK all you want but to do it on a story regarding a 31 yr old guy losing his life? Really? Total dirtbag!

That's Mikey. 



Since: Jun 5, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:45 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

Why don't  these kids listen???. The coach who made that remark about his funeral may have been insensitive (and unfortunately correct) was probably trying to help him. I've often felt some people have to hit bottom in order to get their lives together, sadly he went too far and lost his life.




Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:28 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

It's different from a regular-person death, if you get what I mean -- especially if it happens at a young age.
No, I really do not get what you mean. "It's different from a regular-person death"? Seems quite devaluing to the "regular-person"



Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 7:36 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

You are a despicable person your parents should be slapped for raising such a nasty human being! What the hell is your problem dude! You need anger therapy! A person, a son is dead murdered and you rant this crap you should be banned from this site!!



Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

Shot down in Columbus?  Why couldn't it have been Tressel? 
That doesn't sound very nice.  What I should have said is, "Why couldn't it have been Tressel?"



Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

What a complete douche you are. I understand that UK is a hated university, but what kind of idiot posts something like MikeSyr18 did? You can bash UK all you want but to do it on a story regarding a 31 yr old guy losing his life? Really? Total dirtbag! Did you post the same type of thing when some Dodger fan beat the shit out of someone rooting for your Giants? I sure hope not......and guess what, noone else did either. Mainly b/c noone cares about your team.

One thing remains constant when it comes to UK....................HATERS LOVE US! Feel free to keep taking up your time to bash us, we actually find it amusing, but don't do it on a tragic story like this. Do it on a Louisville blog.....no wait......there aren't any people on those blogs b/c they are on the UK stories also......

BIG BLUE NATION!



Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

I meant to say "God given talent". My apologies.



Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: July 27, 2011 2:55 pm
 

Former Kentucky player Desmond Allison killed

The tragedy is that he pissed away his got given talent to be a thug.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com