Getting to Know Corey Allmond
Moncton Magic sharpshooter Corey Allmond has been playing basketball since the age of five. It's taken him from the Hillcrest Heights Rec Centre in Glassmanor, Maryland, to Washington, DC Run and Shoot youth teams, to college in Texas, to storied Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, to life as a pro in Fort Wayne, China, Turkey, Maine, Rochester, Saint John and finally our beloved Hub City. So just how much basketball does the 30-year old have left in the tank?
"Before this past season I told coach, I haven't ever played 50 plus games in a season before," said Allmond from his offseason adopted hometown of Rochester, New York. I caught up to the to this season's NBLC three-point king with 164 makes, running errands a mere 4 days after the birth of his son Cameron Tyrone Allmond (6 pounds 15 ounces and everyone is happy and healthy), but he was still immensely generous with his time. Referencing a conversation with an old friend and trainer back in Maryland a full two years ago, he wondered aloud, "I honestly didn't know how much more my body can take." Hearts in your throats Moncton fans? Don't worry about it, it's not what you think. Tell you what, we'll get back to that.
Corey has settled himself in Rochester in his off-seasons since his first season with the Razorsharks of the North American Premiere Basketball league back in the 2014-15 season. It's his 4th summer running camps with friend and former Rochester teammate Rashard McGill, himself a guy Allmond calls a "do-everything" wing player who is hoping to break into the NBL through the combine process this off-season. They have established the Life Line Skills Academy, an organization whose website states "we're in the life-changing business." In the passionate way he speaks about their camps, you can tell Allmond takes that statement of purpose to heart.
"We're still focused on getting ourselves established and getting camps up and running. We get about 15 campers registered, but we always get walk-ins. Parents drop kids off to see what it's about and then end up paying to keep them in the whole time after they see what it's about." Allmond and McGill usually end up with about 20-25 campers for each session in all and Corey feels that number is perfect as "every kid gets the advantage of lots of attention." I first spoke to Allmond about his camps at the season-ticket holder event that closed the season and the part of the camps that brought a smile to his face then was more the "life skills" part than the basketball. He had friends and family back in Maryland that played sports as well growing up, but he was the one that parlayed it into a professional career. For the others, "life got in the way" he says. You can tell that he wants to give his campers all the tools they need to remove those obstacles. If you want to learn more about Corey and Rashard's Academy, check them out at lifelinebasketball.com, @LifeLineSkills on twitter, and Life Line Skills Academy on Facebook and Instagram.
When Corey was 12, he had supportive parents who got him to a DC gym every day in the summer around noon and picked him up....wait...at MIDNIGHT? "I lived there man," says Allmond now, "they had to drag me out of there. They had a TV, a place to chill and when I was hungry, there was a carry-out close-by. I didn't have to go far for anything." What was his go-to meal at the carry-out? "Wings and fries with Mumbo sauce." Now Corey couldn't tell me what actually is IN Mumbo sauce, but a quick google search tells you it's a DC area, sweet and sour staple with everything from vinegar and sugar to pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger, Frank's Red Hot and sriracha. Whatever it was, it gave him the energy to get up shot after shot, perfecting that pretty jumper Magic ticket holders enjoy so much.
On the subject of food and fans, I briefly digress into a question asked of Corey on social media by a season-ticket holder clearly angling to get Corey to come join them for a meal. That question was "Have you ever enjoyed a steamed crab feast?" Allmond doesn't recall exactly, but it brings up a rather dark incident in his culinary past. "I love seafood but I didn't eat crabs as much as my family did. I had a bad experience where I cracked it open and didn't really know how and cracked open my hand instead." Luckily for said fan, Corey is more than willing to overlook this sad reminder. "Crab legs I'm cool with." And how about if someone does the cracking open for him? "I'm all for it."
Even with all those hours in the gym getting up shots, Allmond still found time for other sports in his youth. He played baseball, but it was football and soccer that got the most attention. (There was a brief foray into cross-country as well, which he excelled at, but when the shin splints showed up, he smartly checked out). "I wanted to stick with football in high school, but basketball was too important. I was a good cornerback though." But in youth football for the Boys and Girls Club team, his deep baritone caused some trouble. "Because of my cadence on the field other parents kept calling the league asking them to check my birth certificate. It was kind of a hassle.
Youth soccer brought a different kind of hassle. "Coach made me goalie because I was one of the tallest and most athletic, but guys were kicking the ball so fast at me man. I was like, enough of that." In the absence of football and cross-country in high school however, he picked it back up because his basketball coach required his players to participate in a fall sport. It was a rule he hated at the time, but one which he now calls "so smart." For all you World Cup fans out there wondering, you'll have to go somewhere other than Mr. Allmond for your "Futbol" analysis. His time working out and at the Life Line Academy and with the baby leaves him precious little leftover time.
He was still ready for an answer to a fan question asking what he DOES do with his downtime. "Poker," Allmond answered quickly. Some ex-Razorsharks teammates are getting a home game organized, but for now, Rochester area residents can find our man relaxing at a casino table going all-in from time-to-time. He also connects with his cousins and little brother back in Maryland by hopping online and playing some NBA 2K but the lion's share of his off-season is still focused on his game.
Another ex-Razorsharks teammate of Allmond's works at a gym and opens it up at night for him. Corey loves playing pickup ball but the last two summers he's scaled back the amount of actual games he participates in, and focuses more on his workouts. A gym rat like him turning DOWN an opportunity to play sounds counterintuitive, but his reasoning is sound. "Anybody who knows me knows I'll play against the worst of the worst and the best of the best, I just love to play," says Allmond. But referencing back to that old friend and trainer from Maryland, he continues. "He asked me one day how many years you think you have left?" The question gave Allmond pause. "DC used to have 10 or 12 leagues running at once in the summers and I would just play as much as possible, 4 sometimes 5 games a day. He said to me that it's cutting down miles off me and he was right."
In lieu of so much on-court time, Allmond focuses on lifting, but also has added cardio work with a weight vest to his repertoire. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, he straps on the 15-pounds and goes running. He stops along the way to do hills and works on backpedalling with the added resistance as well. When he references not knowing how much more his body can take, he's not speaking with the rueful grin of a man on the downside of his career, but with the excitement of a guy who knows he has a lot left to give to the game.
Is he excited about the return to New Brunswick? "VERY," said Allmond enthusiastically. "I love everything about Moncton. It was my first time as a pro I had nothing to stress about. I just had to show up and do my job and focus on playing. It was a perfect year." I asked him what (besides the fans and teammates....and broadcasters obviously) he missed most about Moncton, he had an enthusiastic answer for that as well. "Movi Yoga! All year man, I felt so energized, my body always felt good. After practices, I was never sore. The whole city was just so welcoming and accepting. It was great." As an aside, I asked Corey how his back was feeling as he played through some significant pain in the playoffs, but he re-assured me it had been a minor issue and he was fully recovered now.
Just how much does he miss the city and the season? He can't stay away from Hub City games from March even down in New York in June, mentioning that he'd re-watched the 108-103 win over eventual NBL champs the London Lightning just the other day. In particular, he chose that game and the first game in Saint John's against the Edge as highlights of his first season in Moncton. "The atmosphere in Newfoundland was amazing. It was such a great game with the crowd and for me, it was one of them days." Indeed it was. Corey drained 11 bombs and scored 35 points in probably his best game of the season. It says a lot about Allmond's mindset that his other highlight was a 2-8 three-point performance personally that accompanied a huge TEAM win against the Lightning. From the team's perspective, there's a reason the interest in Corey re-upping here was reciprocated.
Before Allmond returns to Moncton in the fall, you can check him out in The Basketball Tournament, an annual showcase for some of the best talent in the world. The tournament attracts former NBA names and players from leagues all over the world for a 2 Million Dollar winner-take-all prize. The games are broadcast on ESPN 3, but whether you can catch the actual games or not, you can support Corey and his DC On Point teammates at www.thetournament.com/teams/dc-point.
Corey's message for the fans of Moncton? "Tell them thank you for believing in me and accepting me and that I appreciate them. I look forward to the season and a lot of big things." The feeling is mutual Corey, believe me.
Story by David Tingley
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National Basketball League of Canada Stories from June 26, 2018
- Getting to Know Corey Allmond - Moncton Magic
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