ALLEN, ROBERT E. 'BOB' Son of Phog Allen ('07), Brother of Milt Allen ('36), Nephew of Pete Allen ('04)
Hometown: Lawrence, KS
Son of Forrest C. 'Phog' Allen ('07), brother of Milton Allen ('36), nephew of Harry Allen('04)
1939-40: All-Big 6, NCAA All-Tournament
1940-41: All-Big 6, Co-Captain
Sunday, April 6, 2003
Friends and family members of Bob Allen like to think there was one more spirit from Kansas University's historic basketball past standing courtside Saturday night in the Louisiana Superdome. Allen, 83, Mission Hills, a standout basketball player in the early 1940s who played under his dad, legendary Kansas coach Forrest "Phog" Allen, died Thursday.
"Nothing -- not even bad weather -- could keep him from going to a KU basketball game," Allen's son, Mark Allen, said Saturday. Health problems, however, did prevent Bob Allen from going to KU's Allen Fieldhouse after the Arizona game earlier this winter, Johnson County resident Mark Allen said.
Bob Allen was twice selected to the All-Big Six conference team and played on the 1940 KU team that lost to Indiana in the NCAA title game. Bob Allen went on to have a career as a medical doctor at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., where he also became chairman of the department of surgery and president of the surgical staff. He was loved and respected at the hospital, said Mark Allen, who also became a physician.
"My dad was my hero when I was growing up," Mark Allen said. "I wanted to be just like him. We both practiced at St. Luke's and it was fun to share a lot of things with him." Bob Allen's wife, Jean, said she thought her husband became a doctor because his older brother, Forrest Allen Jr., died of typhoid fever at age 14. "I think that was his inspiration," Jean Allen said. "He was a very smart man."
Howard Engleman, who played in high school and at KU with Bob Allen, was stunned Saturday when informed of Allen's death. Engleman, a former All-American whose jersey was retired at KU, credits Allen for some of his success. "I would not have gotten any All-American offers if it wasn't for him," said Engleman, who lives in Salina.
The irony of Bob Allen's death coming just two days before KU was to play in the national semifinals had his family wondering. "I think that means they should get out there and win -- win one for the Gipper, maybe," Jean Allen said.
Bob Allen's niece, Judy Morris, of Lawrence, couldn't help but think of the death of her father, Milton "Mitt" Allen, who was Bob Allen's brother, and a former KU basketball player in the 1930s who played under Phog Allen. He died shortly after KU won the NCAA title in 1988. "It's very eerie," Morris said. "I think there is going to be a lot of (basketball) strategy talk among some Jayhawk angels over the next few days."
Source: KU Sports.com 4/6/03