Last weekend, Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry passed Hall of Famer Reggie Miller for second place on the NBA’s all-time 3-pointers made list. Hall of Famer Ray Allen currently sits first with 2,973. Barring health, Curry is on pace to pass Allen at some point next season and the retired guard continues to marvel at the resume Curry is putting together.
“Coming from Davidson University, he didn’t have a huge following and no one could have imagined he would have amounted to being one of the best players in the league and he’s going to go down as one of the best of all time,” Allen said. “It’s a testimony to how hard he’s worked and the family he comes from. It goes to show you that you can be successful in any profession if you put the work in. Making it to the NBA is not the success, it’s what you do after you get there.”
After a record-setting 18-year career, Allen has relished the additional time he’s gotten to spend with his family in retirement. As the father of five children — four with wife Shannon — they’ve used the pandemic to become even closer, taking more family bike rides, doing house chores and, of course, getting some work done on the court.
The Allen’s have also continued to raise awareness on diabetes, something they have done since their son Walker was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 17 months old during the 2008 NBA Finals when Allen was on his way to winning hist first title with the Boston Celtics.
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“When one person in the family has diabetes, everyone in the family has it,” said Allen.
According to the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020, cases of diabetes have risen to an estimated 34.2 million. The Allen’s are on a mission to help develop a cure for the disease and both have served on boards dedicated to research of diabetes.
Through continued funding of research, more people are becoming better educated on the disease and through continued advancements in technology, there are ways people are more efficiently managing their day-to-day with diabetes..
The Abbott FreeStyle Libre 2 is a device that has made life in the Allen household a little easier. It is a glucose monitoring system that allows adults and children to easily check their insulin levels with a scan from a sensor that is affixed to the user’s upper arm instead of the use of pricking their fingers. It also features real-time alarms to notify the user if their blood sugar drops too low or raises too high.
Allen recalled looking at Walker’s fingertips whenever he would finish swimming or showering and seeing all the puncture marks from the pricks to read his blood sugar. He wanted so badly to make the process of getting an accurate reading less cumbersome for Walker and the FreeStyle Libre 2 has given him that.
“It’s given us a greater peace of mind, as well as Walker,” said Allen. “He’s active and playing sports a lot. There were countless occasions where he would be playing a game and he looked somewhat lethargic, and we would have to run over to the bench, pull out the finger pricker and check his blood. Now, he has the dial attached to him to get an immediate reading. It makes things so much easier because we’re not as device heavy, where we have to carry so many things around.”
While the pursuit to finding a cure to diabetes is one that is ongoing, Allen isn’t sure how close we are to that reality. Until that day arrives, he says it’s critical to continue providing resources and information to those living with diabetes. Even more important is making sure those who do have it are properly diagnosed.
“Misdiagnosis oftentimes leads to death because the signs of diabetes are often similar to the flu,” Allen said. “We found out Walker’s diagnosis by making sure that he had his blood checked. Information like that is important for the young and old alike.”