HILLIARD, Ohio -- Passionate. Competitive. The kind of kid that you absolutely hate playing against and wish was on your team.
That sums up Matt Allocco.
The 6-foot-3 junior point guard from Hilliard Bradley has a competitive edge not seen in many, and he’s used that edge to fuel a massive summer, one that is putting him in the eyes of many colleges.
Allocco, teammates with Von Cameron Davis, is playing with C2K Elite this summer, and he’s reaping the benefits of playing on a successful team.
“The summer has been going really well,” Allocco said. “As far as AAU goes, I’ve been pretty lucky to be playing with the group I’m with. We have a really good group of guys that play well together and it’s been really fun.”
Allocco is the floor general of the team, and he’s embraced the role and became a coach on the court. While most kids typically highlight shooting or scoring as their main strengths, Allocco emphasized that communicating and competing, like a true, throwback point guard, are his strong suits.
Growing up, competing and giving 100 percent was the only way he knew how to play. His father coached him when he was younger and instilled a relentless competitiveness inside of him. Matt’s father, Hilliard Bradley assistant coach Greg Allocco, always played hard in high school according to Matt, and now he’s taking on that same role.
Along with his father, Matt’s also been motivated by head coach Brett Norris at Hilliard Bradley and his uncle Frank Allocco, a legendary high school coach in California who is now at San Francisco University. Frank spent 18 years at De La Salle High School where he won 17 league championships and two state championships.
“I’ve spent a lot of time around those guys and just kind of took after them,” Matt said. “I model my game around how they coach because I want to be the best coach on the floor that I can be.”
Being a coach on the floor has worked quite well for him because many colleges are lining up to recruit him. Miami (OH), Akron, Kent State, Toledo and Stony Brook have all offered scholarships in what has been a very humbling process according to him. Purdue, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Davidson, Dayton, Oakland, George Mason and a couple of Ivy League schools have all expressed interest.
“I’m looking for a school that has a culture of just being really competitive, a winning culture,” he said. “I want to play with guys that want to come in and play as a team and compete together, guys that enjoy playing together, and most importantly I want to win games.”
Before he takes that winning culture to the collegiate level, Allocco knows he still has some unfinished business left to take care of at the high school level.
In his first two seasons at Hilliard Bradley, Allocco averaged right around 11 points per game and was a key member of two successful teams. Bradley only lost a total of four games over the past two seasons, but they’ve come up just short twice. Last year’s loss to Pickerington Central in the regional finals, is the one that stands out and has especially motivated him.
“I can’t stand losing. I don’t have a fear of losing, but I just hate losing and that’s what really drives me,” he said. “Last year in the regional finals we came up short, and just being so close to playing in the “Mecca” in the Final Four at the Schott, it’s motivated me. It’s something that’s really going to drive me and my team.
Losing is what really drives this floor general to want to be successful. It has made him work hard on every skill on the court, from communicating to shooting, in order to ensure that he has no weaknesses. It’s what he’s hoping will lead his team to a state championship next season.
“The thing I’m looking forward to the next two years is the same thing that I looked forward to my first two years,” he said. “I get to spend every day with my team, my best friends and my coaches, and getting to work at my skill every day and getting better with them is exciting. Hopefully we can achieve our goal of winning a state championship.”
There’s really only one uncertainty about Allocco, and that is what he’s going to study when he gets to college. Besides that, you can be certain that he’s going to compete at the highest level at all times, you can be sure that he will do whatever it takes to ensure his team doesn’t lose, and you can ultimately be assured that this big summer of his will lead to him play college basketball at a very high level one day.