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Notes/Quotes from Ray Allen: “If he thinks he needs to move on, it’s hard to say ‘I had a great career and that’s it.’”

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Ray Allen was back in Storrs Saturday morning for the first day of his weekend Pro-Camp, held at E.O. Smith high school. He beat some 12 year olds in knockout (see below) and took some time to answer questions from the media. Here are the highlights:

Ray Allen (AP)

*on Jim Calhoun: “I haven’t talked to (Calhoun), but I’ve talked to everybody close to him. I kind of know first-hand how he feels and where he’s at…I have no clue whatsoever (what he’s going to do). I believe like all of us, when you’ve being doing something for such a long time, there’s that emotional attachment. It’s like a tree planted in the ground. You don’t just cut the tree down, there’s still roots planted in the ground. And that’s what he is now to the University and the state. If he thinks he needs to move on, it’s hard to make that decision and say ‘I had a great career and that’s it.’ You just don’t make that decision overnight.”

*on Kevin Ollie: “He’s a great role model. He’s the hardest worker I know. He’s always inspired me to work harder. Kevin is a guy who started out in the CBA and was never guaranteed a contract in the NBA. He just worked, and ended up doing 12 years in the NBA. Some guys get drafted in the first round and don’t stay three years because they don’t work hard. He’s always been a great example. Being around those younger guys who think their talent is going to get them over the top, he knows how to mentor the young guys and he’s been there.”

*on the possibility of Ollie taking over the program with no coaching experience: “There’s never a blueprint for where you go, where you come from, how you’re successful. In the NBA for the longest time, coaches thought you had to coach in the CBA and coach overseas and then come back here and be an assistant coach until you finally got a head job. The game has changed so much that all you really need to do is know how to motivate your players and keep them on track, and put in time with your players. You can’t just be a coach who coaches two hours of the day and doesn’t coach the rest of the day. You have to be 100 percent committed to them. And you have to be a great recruiter. That means you have to have great guys around you. Kevin has been in the mix now three or four years being around this program. He knows the type of guys who can deal with the UConn tradition and everything that goes along with that from the media aspect to school. He doesn’t have to be at a smaller school to figure that out. He’s been in this situation, he’s played under Calhoun. He understands different philosophies.”

*on the possibility of going into coaching after his NBA career ends: “Not really (thought about it). In this league where you go through an NBA season where you’re gone so much, I have kids now at the age where they want dad to be around more than anything. In summer I get to be around so much and see them grow, so I think you just have to take it as it comes and see how the kids are and how they grow up. I don’t want to be in a different area code where my kids are growing up somewhere else.”

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