Blake Allen’s pro dreams: Athlete feature of the week

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When it comes to attending sporting events at Washburn University, there are a few programs that receive less attention than others. This week, we’re bringing attention to an athlete who competes on one of the teams who receive the least recognition: golf. 

Blake Allen is a junior golfer who is competing in his third season as a Bod. He attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and came straight to Washburn as a freshman with a scholarship, where he has found much success on the greens.

Growing up in Lenexa, Kansas, Allen says his motivation to attend Washburn came from his two older siblings. Both of his brothers, Colton and Garrett, have also attended/are attending Washburn. They both were members of the Ichabod golf team.

Playing other sports growing up, Allen says he found more comfort and potential in golf. Being too small to pursue football and uninterested in competing for a spotlight on the baseball field, he settled comfortably with the golfing lifestyle.

Majoring in entrepreneurship and business, Allen plans to utilize his talents as long as he can. 

“My plan is actually to turn pro in golf and there’s multiple ways to go about it. I could go to Canada, Europe, or even South America to tour. Depending on where my game is at and how good I think I am, I’ll have to make a decision on where to go” Allen says.

Although turning pro is plan A, Allen also has a plan B just in case.

“If I don’t play golf, I’ve always had a weird dream to own a chain like Casey’s [general store] and have a liquor store, gas station and car wash to start my own company. Everybody’s always going to drink, need to put gas in their cars, and want their cars to be clean. It’s smart,” said Allen.

Allen says his favorite thing about Washburn is how close the whole student network is. Even if students have different majors or play different sports, somehow they find ways to get connected. He says the strong sense of community needs to be utilized more for sporting events.

“[My least favorite thing about Washburn is] The sporting events are not as hype as they are at bigger universities like KU and K-State. Even when the volleyball team plays the number one team in the country, you only expect about 40-50 students to show up and support. It would be cool to have a hype student section and I definitely feel like we can do better,” Allen explained.

Although having to balance school work, practices and competitions, Allen says that being a college athlete isn’t all that bad. He gives credit to his teammates who have become family and his family who have become the best support system he could ask for.

Not everything about being a collegiate athlete is easy.

“When professors don’t understand, it gets a little frustrating. Our golf schedule is set up different so we play Mondays, Tuesdays and sometimes Wednesdays. I’ve had professors ask if my coach knows how much school I miss and it’s obvious that he does but in order to have the best chance at winning, we have to take the best players to compete. We just have to work around it and need some understanding. Most [instructors] do a pretty good job at being flexible, but not all,” says Allen.

Finding success daily is something that takes a lot of dedication. For Allen, he says his dreams of becoming a pro golfer are what motivates him to keep working hard.

“Ever since I’ve gotten into the game, I’ve had one dream and that’s to compete in the PGA tour. I don’t want to ever have to stop playing this game seven days a week,” says Allen.

Allen says that family makes the drive from Lenexa to support him as much as they can. His mom, Dana, is a real estate agent and his dad, Bret, sells mortgage loans. Garrett and Colton, Allen’s brothers, also show their support, with Colton even being Allen’s roommate.

In his scarce free time away from school and golf, Allen really enjoys playing pool. Although not a pro, he’s improving his skills and would enjoy some good competition. He also says the coolest thing he’s ever done is getting the opportunity to play golf in California.

When his golf career comes to an end, Allen wants to find himself living in a house built in the flint hills so he can watch the storms roll in. His ideal house would be designed by himself and include a wrap-around porch.

Being involved on campus, Allen has some solid advice to give his fellow Ichabods. 

“Go Bods and don’t forget about the golf team,” exclaims Allen.

Favorite book: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia

Bad habit: Procrastination

Favorite animal: Squirrels

Favorite food: Burritos

Favorite song: Piano man