Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Sunday, July 29, 2012 | 2:05 a.m.
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This play never gets old for the Allen twins.
Midway through the second half Friday in their summer league basketball game, Centennial High senior-to-be guard Malcolm Allen came up with a steal near midcourt.
He quickly surveyed the floor in transition and riffled a pass to his twin brother, Marcus Allen, sprinting toward the other end of the court.
Marcus finished the play with a powerful one-handed dunk, elevating high above the rim for an easy two points in helping the twins’ Compton Magic AAU team post a 68-62 victory against Rockfish Navy in the Fab 48 at Bishop Gorman.
The twins, who have dominated the Northwest Division the past two years in transforming Centennial into one of Las Vegas’ top teams, have been equally impressive during the spring and summer on the AAU circuit.
And, because of the success, the 6-foot-2 guards have caught the eye of college recruiters.
The twins, who plan to stay together for their college career, have scholarship offers from a laundry list of programs.
“Rice, Santa Clara, Drake, Northern Arizona, South Florida, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Gonzaga,” Marcus Allen recited.
Marcus averaged 20 points per game last winter for Centennial and Malcolm scored 15. Talk with the twins, however, and they will confirm another number from their high school resume is more important.
Both have a weighted 4.8 grade point average and are ranked No. 1 in their graduating class, earning an A in every course they’ve taken — most being college prep or honors courses.
Excelling in both academics and athletics has always been a top priority in the Allen house. Their father played football at Vanderbilt and their mother was a gymnast at Stanford, learning to balance the rigors of college athletics with classroom studies. They are each physicians.
When college coaches contact the Allen family to sell their program, they’ve quickly learned to talk about the academics first.
“I’m not going to be playing basketball all my life. I need that firm education when I’m done,” Marcus said. “It is very important to find a school with great education as well as basketball.”
They are considered elite defenders with the ability to guard all three positions on the perimeter. Marcus is more of a scorer while Malcolm is the better passer — which partially explains why they mesh so well on the court.
“I know his tendencies and I know where he likes the ball,” said Malcolm, who is two minutes older. “It makes my job that much easier. I’m more of a scorer, but I would rather get him the ball.”
The twins have helped Centennial post a 47-9 record the past two years in winning consecutive Northwest titles, going from relative unknowns to heavily scouted. Coaches from more than 100 colleges packed Gorman for the Fab 48.
Part of their rise can be credited to working out four times weekly at Impact Basketball, which is arguably the area’s top training facility. There have been several days when the twins have logged long hours in the gym, then headed home for an equally rigorous session of studying.
Last month, they had the opportunity to eat lunch at Caesars Palace with NFL legend Jerry Rice. Known for being relentless in his training during his record-setting football career, Rice told the boys to continue operating under a similar approach in their training. The meeting gave them the inspiration to continue with their hectic schedule.
“He said, ‘I wasn’t the biggest, I wasn’t the strongest, I wasn’t the fastest, but nobody outworked me,” said Trina Wiggins, their mother. “The kids took that to heart. There is a lot of talent youth out there playing sports and basketball. You have to put the time in."