Athlete of the Week Katlyn Allen

An exclusive interview with Katlyn Allen whose hard work returning from a major injury earned her the spot of athlete of the week.


Photo provided by COD Athletic Department

Lily Goodfellow, Sports Writer

Athlete of the week: Katlyn Allen

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard / forward

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Chicago

High School: Naperville Central


Lily Goodfellow: When did you start playing basketball?

Katlyn Allen: I was so young. I started when I was six or seven in Bensenville in the park district.


LG: What are your greatest accomplishments in basketball?

KA: My greatest accomplishment is I just got player of the week like two weeks ago. 


LG: What has been your biggest challenge in basketball?

KA: Definitely the biggest challenge was coming back from an ACL injury I just had last year. It was a lot of work. Going to therapy and then getting back into the realm of basketball and running and conditioning was the toughest part.


LG: What does your exercise, sleep and nutrition look like during the basketball season?

KA: [Sleep] can be kind of bad – like just yesterday we had a game and didn’t get home until like midnight, so I didn’t go to sleep until one o’clock in morning. But if we don’t have an away game, we usually stay for the boys’ game and then probably like ten o’clock I go to bed. I’m kind of bad at [nutrition] too. Sometimes, if I’m not hungry, I won’t eat. I eat mostly granola bars and Gatorade and BodyArmor. But I make sure that I’m eating protein and vegetables, even though I don’t really like vegetables. And for exercise, we lift weights every week. Sometimes twice a week, depending on how many games we have, we do arms and legs. Because I’m coming off an ACL injury, we’re doing single leg strengthening for me and more so working on the atrophy that I have in my leg.


LG: How did you hurt your ACL?

KA: I was playing at Malcolm X last year, I was going in for a layup, and one of the opposing players stepped over. Instead of trying to take a charge, I tried to stop, and my knee hyperextended. So I tore my ACL completely and my meniscus on both sides was torn. It was bad. I felt it all in my hip too and I went down. 


LG: Ouch! That’s a major surgery!

KA: Yeah. It was a full reconstruction. So they used my patella tendon.


LG: I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

KA: It’s been tough. But honestly I feel like it made me better as a basketball player because it forces me to actually work harder. It’s different, the amount of work I put in this season versus any prior season, because I’m coming from an injury, so the work ethic has to be more. I feel like this season means so much more to me, because of how much work I need to put in to be on the same level as the other girls.


LG: Do you have any advice for younger people just starting out in basketball?

KA: Just be very consistent. Work out as much as you can, even though I don’t really follow that. Eat healthy and take care of your body because in the long run your body will thank you. Injuries are going to happen, but to prevent it just make sure you’re working out to stay strong and take care of yourself as much as you can. Icing after a game and practice – that stuff means so much. Even watching films and stuff like that just helps you be a better basketball player. And always be a team player. You will have more fun playing basketball when your team likes you and you enjoy being around those people. So just take care of your body and be a good leader and a team player.


LG: What are your academic goals at COD?

KA: So when I first started I had [a] 4.0 [GPA] and then it dropped a little bit. I’m at [a] 3.5 [GPA] now. So my goal is to get back to 4.0 this year.


LG: How do you balance school and sports?

KA: My coach really helps me out whenever I need something from her. And then making sure I have the right resources around me. I want to be an athletic trainer and I’m taking kinesiology, so the strengthening coach also helps me. So using my resources, COD has a lot of resources. If school is too much or basketball is too much, I just let my coaches and teachers know and have open communication.


LG: What are your plans after COD?

KA: Some schools are starting to contact me, which is very exciting because I’ve never had that before. It makes me want to put in even more work. So we’re trying to figure out what school we’re going to go with and I’m doing the research on the schools, because I do want to do kinesiology and exercise science. And the goal is to still play basketball.


LG: What division do you want to play for?

KA: When I first started, I wanted to be Division 2. But after playing and doing the hard work, I feel like I have the work ethic to even do D1. If I can get D2 I’m okay with that, but D1 would be like, “Wow, I made D1” and it would just show that I have something in myself that maybe I don’t even see that other people do see.  


LG: What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?

KA: Going out and spending time with family and friends, and just not having anything to worry about and just having fun.


LG: What is your favorite movie?

KA: I don’t know if I have a favorite movie. I’ll just say Grown Ups 2 because I’ve watched it so many times.


LG: What one word best describes you?

KA: I think leader, because even when I’m not trying to lead it’s just naturally how I am as a person. So I try to lead by following or lead by example and I think I’m a leader in all aspects of my life. 


LG: Thank you, Katlyn!

KA: Thank you so much!