By LARRY VAUGHT
In his third year at Kentucky, Josh Allen has developed into one of the premier defensive players in the Southeastern Conference.
While that may have surprised some UK fans who knew little about Allen when he signed with UK even though home-state Rutgers did not even offer him a scholarship, it has not surprised his sister, Myisha Hines-Allen.
“He is my brother, so I know he can do good things,” she said. “One of the big things is he was not recruited highly but he is showing people who did not know coming into college what he could do just how he can maximize his ability. He is doing a great job. It good to see him doing his thing and how hyped he is.”
Josh Allen lived and played football in Alabama until moving back to New Jersey when his sister left for college — at the University of Louisville where she is a star basketball player. Going into her senior season, she’s has 1,482 points and 778 rebounds in 103 games. She also has 128 assists, 89 steals and 52 blocked shots and has become one of the nation’s best players.
“We have a lot of great players on my team,” Myisha Hines-Allen said. “I can do things for my team just like he can for his team. I bring a lot of energy on my team. So does he.
“Hands down I am going to say my brother is the best defender and best player on the (UK) team because he’s the only one I’m rooting for.”
Her teammates know her brother is a star player at rival Kentucky. He has 6.5 quarterback sacks this season — the most by a UK player through six games since Jeremy Harmon in 2007 — and two caused fumbles. He has 35 total tackles for the 5-1 Cats.
“Everyone knows. I tell everyone. It’s no secret at all. If they ask, I am telling them and I am proud of the fact he is doing such great things and got a scholarship to a Division I school,” she said.
He’s been to see her play — and wore Louisville gear to support her just like she wore Kentucky gear at his games.
“She is not going to wear it (UK gear) at Louisville, but she supports me. We do our thing,” the UK junior linebacker said. “I have been to two of her games when we were done with football. I went to the Kentucky-Louisville game here to support her. I am going to support her even if we are at rival schools.
“She gave me a customized shirt with her name and number. I wore it down there. But it is hanging up in my closet now. I have not worn it since. I am blue until I die, but I will support my sister.”
She says since they are not from Kentucky, they don’t let the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry sour their relationship.
“It is all family. He going to school free, I am going free,” Hines-Allen said. “He’s great on the field, I am great on the court. I will always root for him. I want UofL to win playing Kentucky, but I want my brother to do great. I know he feels the same about me.
“I wore my UK gear to a couple of his game. Nothing to it. It would be ignorant to go to Kentucky to watch him play and go with all red.”
When UK won at Louisville last season in a stunning football upset, Allen couldn’t resist calling his sister after the game.
“I had to tell her that all that talk you did last year is over with. Tell everybody you know that we are there from here on out and watch out,” the Kentucky linebacker said.
He admits he didn’t play one-on-one basketball with his sister often.
“But when did I tried to bring my A game to compete with all my older sisters that played basketball. They were always bigger, so I had to work my moves. But she was always great,” he said.
“Everyone knows I can beat him in basketball. He talks a big game. Just how he is,” Hines-Evans joked.
However, she can add a few other details that her brother didn’t.
“He is a big momma’s boy. Out of my whole family, he is the biggest one,” the Louisville senior said. “He is big and tall and muscular, but he has a real soft side, too. We had four girls older than Josh and his twin brother. We would pick on them and they would go cry to my mom. We would gang up on them.
“They were not nearly as big as they are now. We were always picking on them. There were four of us, so we could do that. I think it did toughen him and our other brother up growing up in a house of women.”
Three of Allen’s sisters went to college on basketball scholarships. Allen’s twin brother plays football at a small college, too.
“Our oldest sister was not into sports. She’s a chef,” Hines-Allen said. “Our mom and dad were lucky we kept all our heads on straight. Credit my aunt, uncle, grandparents. They all did a great job with us. My aunt was like a second mom. My uncle was like a father figure. My dad was not always around. My uncles played basketball and that’s how we got started playing. They are huge and toughened us up for sure.”
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