COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Mount Holyoke College basketball senior Zahkeyah Allen has been named to the United States Olympic Committee's Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere (FLAME) program.
The USOC's FLAME program provides diverse college and graduate-level students with a unique look into the world of elite sport.
"Every athlete dream is to play professional sports because we believe it is the only way to be successful in athletics; however, I quickly realized that I could make an impact in professional sports through business," stated Allen. "Being named to the USOC FLAME program is a dream come true as it is not everyday that an inner city minority student is selected to be a representative on the national level. Therefore, this endeavor is an opportunity to apply myself to make the best impact that I can to represent minorities, Mount Holyoke, and myself."
Allen is the first Mount Holyoke student-athlete to be accepted into the FLAME program after going through the application process and receiving her acceptance. A senior captain on the Lyons basketball team, Allen is majoring in mathematics with a minor in sociology.
Accepted students into the eight-day FLAME program engage in a rigorous curriculum designed to increase knowledge of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements as well as participate in personal and professional development workshops. It is an intersectional program that encourages students of color of all sexual orientations, abilities, genders and gender identities, and income levels to apply.
Throughout the program, students meet and network with USOC executives as well as learn about goal setting, leadership and self-motivation from U.S. Olympians and Paralympians. Students also engage in workshops on race, class, ability, gender and sexual orientation to foster inclusive, high-performing sport environments.
The 2019 FLAME program runs from May 27 through June 3 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In January, Allen took part in the 2019 NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program, which is held annually in conjunction with the NCAA Convention for ethnic minority students with a strong interest in Division III athletics. Participants are exposed to Division III, its members and its governance process with a goal of building a pipeline of talented candidates to ultimately diversify the division.
On the court, Allen played in 81 career games, including 64 as a starter. She scored 183 points while pulling down 173 rebounds. She also posted 89 assists with 73 steals and seven blocked shots. During her senior campaign in 2018-19, Allen served as a captain, recording 67 points and 58 rebounds in 23 games. She also recorded a career-high 29 assists and 26 steals on the season.