PRINT: FAU Women’s Basketball: Getting to know Iggy Allen

Grasping the weight of her dreams, Allen’s perspective on the way she views life has been shaped around her biggest ambition.

Iggy+Allen+warms+up+before+facing+FIU+on+January+15%2C+2021.+Photo+by+Eston+Parker+III.+

Iggy Allen warms up before facing FIU on January 15, 2021. Photo by Eston Parker III.

Brianna Smith, Staff Writer

Editor’s note: This story is in the UP’s latest issue that can be found digitally through our Issuu page.

A late start doesn’t have to mean an early ending. This is especially true for graduate transfer student, Jacaira “Iggy” Allen, who made her way back to her home state of Florida and decided to spread her wings a little further as an Owl on the FAU women’s basketball team.

The guard started her hoop career in the eighth grade, where she was inspired to pick up a ball by her sister who began playing before her.

Allen eventually joined a traveling team called the Miami Suns in her freshman year of high school, which helped advance her game as the team traveled across the country competing with the best of the best.

“After ninth grade, I started to get a little better. I was working out over the summer and I joined the Miami Suns,” Allen said. “We got it working with them—that’s a travel team and I was traveling to several states playing basketball, competing at the highest level.”

It was then that Allen’s journey had just begun. The more work she put in, the more progress she began to see as she was growing into the player she needed to be on the court.

Those who know Allen would say that she tends to lead, something that she notices during the game, but also outside of the gym.

“I’m like the leader of all of my friends,” Allen said. “I don’t know, I guess I’m this trendsetter because of my social media influence, so I lead and I’m followed by many people.”

Allen has a pretty good following on her Instagram page with a little over 6000 followers. Her transparency of who she is and her personality is shown all over her social media and it is no wonder why she has a considerable following.

“Off the court, Iggy is a comedian. She is always cracking jokes and doing skits for her social media accounts. She is always dancing and having fun. On the court, she is very intense and passionate. She is a serious competitor. A very hardworking player,” Allen’s teammate junior guard Bre Beck said.

In her studies as a MED Educational Leadership major, Allen has learned things in the classroom that she can apply in her athletic career.

“I’m learning to be more patient because my major isn’t the easiest, there’s definitely a lot of reading, so I’m learning a lot of patience and I’m projecting that back onto the court,” Allen said.

In Allen’s major she’s learning as life skills and lessons that she can take with her far beyond a classroom setting. Her goal of making it to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will require the skill she has already honed—leadership—to truly compete at the national level.

“There are several adjectives to describe Iggy but the biggest ones being that she is competitive, passionate, generous, complex, talented, funny, and very caring,” head coach Jim Jabir said.

Iggy Allen reacts after draining a shot against Southern Miss on February 27, 2021. Photo by Eston Parker III.

With the willingness to learn, comes the opportunity to grow, and having this mindset, Allen has the chance to meet her ultimate destination.

“My dreams and my aspirations, they grew bigger and I just want to reach my fullest potential,” Allen said. “And my fullest potential that I can reach playing basketball would be to reach the WNBA.”

Grasping the weight of her dreams, Allen’s perspective on the way she views life has been shaped around her biggest ambition.

There are times in life where one can walk alone, and then there are times where the support of others is that fuel to keep going. For Allen, her fuel is her mom, sister, and godmother who are the main three people she can count on.

“My sister, like I said before, was the one who influenced me to pick up a basketball so she is like my biggest supporter,” Allen said. “If I look in the crowd and I don’t see her I’m just mind-boggled, I just can’t really function. I’m always looking up to see if she’s there.”

The importance of family and a village extends beyond Allen’s immediate family and onto her FAU squad where she has been able to create an atmosphere where she receives love and gives it right back.

“One thing that makes her unique is her perseverance. She obviously has been to many schools and has never really had her time to shine. But her spirit is very contagious and she stays true to herself regardless of the situation,” Beck said.

Since her transfer from the University of Miami, Allen has had an exceptional season with the Owls as she has become the only Owl to be named on the All-Defensive first team and the second to win C-USA’s All-Conference First Team and won Newcomer of the Year.

“It’s definitely a huge milestone, I have so much more that people haven’t seen yet and I just want to make sure that I show all that on a collegiate level and then transfer that to my professional career,” Allen said.

To those who have similar dreams and aspirations as Allen, she has one message:

“Chase your dreams. Whether they match your friends’ dreams or not, just go and do what you want to do. If I could go back and talk to myself when I was 14 years old, I would just tell myself to keep on going and that’s what I’m doing right now. You never want to regret anything so always push forward and chase your dreams.”

Growth, aspiration, work ethic, leadership, and patience—the key ingredients Allen has already stocked on her shelf for her recipe of a successful basketball career.

“The sky’s the limit for her with her talent and her work ethic,” Beck said.

Bria Smith is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @itsbriiaa.