Allard verbally commits to Jamestown University

By John Roark

RAWLINS – When it came time for Rawlins High School senior basketball standout Jace Allard to decide where he was spending his next four years, he deferred to his coach – and father, Denver Allard.

“It’s always been ‘books before basketball,’” Allard said Monday night after verbally committing to Jamestown (N.D.) University. “Jamestown is a classy, four-year school that offers a great teacher-to-student ratio that can benefit me.”

Allard made his decision to attend the private NAIA school after making three recent visits during spring break.

When all was said and done, chose Jamestown rather than Bismarck State and Valley City (N.D.)

“I just like the personal help I’ll get if I need it in the classroom,” the two-time Class 3A All-Stater said of Jamestown, where he currently intends to concentrate on physical therapy as a major.

On the court, Allard brings the Jimmies’ program – led by head coach Danny Neville – a 1,000-point scorer. Allard averaged 17.5 points as an Outlaws’ senior. For his career, Allard scored 1,356 points, second only on the boys’ scoring list to 2015 RHS grad Jalen Krening.

Allard got the chance to work out with a few of the returning Jimmies.

“They have two or three really good guards coming back,” Allard said. “I was told I might have a chance to play right away as a freshman, but they also have a junior varsity team, so I should be able to play.”

For three seasons, Allard played basically a shooting guard spot. With Krening’s spot at the point vacated by graduation, Allard knew he would have to be more of a presence by handling the basketball.

“With Jalen, I was able to be outside and shoot 3-pointers,” Allard said. “This year, Dad was harder on me to drive the basket and be more physical. I think that is going to pay off for me, as I move on to the next level.”

Dad also played a big part of the recruiting process, as he actually got the ‘ball rolling’ a few months back.

“Well, I am a Jamestown High School graduate, so I know the area and the people,” Denver Allard said. “I knew the town would be a great fit for Jace.”

Pops also knew what kind of student-athlete Neville was getting.

“The first thing college coaches ask about is the players’ grades,” D. Allard said. “Jace has a 3.9 grade-point average, he’s in the top 10 percent of his senior class and his ACT scores are solid. This is a message to others: Your options are limited at the next level when your grades aren’t good.”

  1. Allard notified Neville of his intentions Tuesday. He expects to sign a letter of intent in the near future.

Not only did Jamestown’s academics lure Jace Allard north, but so did the financial promises to the program.

“Jamestown is building a new $16 million arena,” J. Allard said. “That’s quite awesome. I also seemed to fit well with the coaching staff. I really took to them.”

  1. Allard knows his dad, and mother, Benita Allard, are proud of his choice, though it was one he made on his own.

“Dad was talking to Jamestown before I did,” J. Allard said. “I did like the other schools, but Jamestown seemed to be the best situation.”

Allard said he anticipates to have half his tuition taken care of through an athletic scholarship, though more academic scholarships should certainly be forthcoming.

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