Initially, senior Dominique Allen intended to only play basketball for Los Angeles High School. During her years there, she decided to compete in track and field and volleyball and developed a fondness for them.
Her experience in track and volleyball enhanced her skills on the hardwood.
“Track helps me with stamina,” Allen said. “Volleyball, especially with jumping, when I have to go up and block, that helps me with blocking in basketball and eventually, if I was to dunk maybe later in my years, that will also help me.”
Allen was the only senior on the L.A. Romans girls’ basketball team, she had to aid other teammates with the fundamentals of the game to keep their spirits high.
“There were a lot of underclassmen and people who have never played basketball before and it’s kinda hard,” Allen said. “Having that positive spirit helps a lot and just encouraging myself and to keep myself motivated to also keep them encouraged too.”
Their efforts would land the Romans in the playoffs, where Allen dropped 48 points and 18 rebounds on the Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences (VAAS) Vipers.
Allen had a completely different experience with volleyball; when she started playing as a sophomore, she did not know much about the sport and her teammates had experience playing in middle school.
During her freshman year, Allen ran track and had plans to compete in the 100m, 200m, and the high jump this year. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the CIF to end all sporting events for the rest of the year, thwarting Allen’s ability to compete.
A major inspiration for Allen is five-time WNBA All-Star Candace Parker. To honor the L.A. Sparks forward, Allen wore a no. 3 jersey for her freshman and sophomore year.
“She’s one of the best to ever do it,” Allen said. “She really inspired me to keep moving … if you have a dream, chase it.”
Having high determination is a major part of being a student athlete, according to Allen. It helps to get through the challenges of balancing all their obligations.
“You can really get discouraged, especially when you have all this work, and have practice and then you’re tired,” Allen said. “You have to be really motivated for both.”
Allen is taking AP Government and AP Environmental Science this year. Through her Government class, Allen learned about the Amendments to the United States Constitution.
“We learn a lot about politics and I never knew I would be interested in that stuff,” she said.
Along with sports, Allen has worked with the Black Student Union and Leadership. With the BSU, she would attend field trips and get involved in discussions about controversial issues. Last year, she was the sport commissioner; she was obliged to making announcements on the P.A. system about sports at L.A. High.
Allen aspires to be a physical therapist and open her own clinic. She will miss the hospitable atmosphere that the students, staff, and faculty had at L.A. High.
“I didn’t know anybody when I came here,” Allen said. “They make you feel welcome and like a family, so everybody here: staff, administration, everybody here is like a family to me.”
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