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Athlete of the Week: Nyla Allen

Senior point guard has helped build a powerhouse on Jacksonville's Northside


That's the first thing you think of when you watch Raines' Nyla Allen on the hardwood.




The senior point guard is seemingly everywhere.

"Nyla is incredible. Nyla has the ability to take over a basketball game whenever she wants," her head coach Julius Paden said. "It's just when she decides."

Allen averaged 14 points per game in 2019-2020 for the top-scoring offense on the First Coast. The Vikings went 28-2, dominating teams up and down the East Coast -- literally. The team won tournaments in Washington D.C. and throughout Florida. 

Following a Final Four run in 2018-2019, Allen knew the pressure was on her team and that her role would change along with it.

"This year, I'm a senior so I gotta lead my team to victory every day, every game," she said.

That means victory both on and off the court. Her coaches say Allen is an extension of them.

"[She] gets everybody in the right place, keeping everybody up beat, understanding what we have in front of us," Paden said. 

The road ended for Allen's Vikings in a Regional Final (Elite Eight) loss to Bishop Kenny, but not before Allen and her senior class left a legacy that will be hard to rival. The Vikings went 75-12 over the past three years.

And don't forget: they were winning off-the-court, too.

"Class first and then the court later," Allen smiled.