Like father, like son. Like John Allen, like Brett Allen.

Basketball, like blood, is thicker than water in this hoop-crazy family. The generation gap between father John, a former University of Utah standout, and son Brett, who excels for top-ranked Bountiful, has been bridged by jumpshots, rebounds and assists.Add Grandma's career at West Virginia Wesleyan, along with brother Todd's high school play, to the mix and the game is truly a family affair with the Allens.

"Once you get hooked on it, it's just like any other hobby," said John, who serves as head statistician for the Utah Jazz. "It has always been there. It's better than watching TV."

No commercials or channel changes here. Father and son spend quite a bit of time working out and discussing the game.

"We just kind of fell in love with the sport," said Brett, a senior who leads the undefeated Braves in scoring and rebounding. "It's been in our family."

And basketball genealogy has its advantages, says Bountiful coach Mike Maxwell, who has successfully followed his father, retired Highland mentor Larry, into the coaching ranks.

"The fact that you have a dad who knows the game is a big help. No doubt about it," said Maxwell. "Brett has just worked hard. He has put hours and hours into this game and that's why he is where he is now."

Averaging nearly 20 points per game and shooting 58 percent from the floor, has made the 6-foot-5 shooting guard a hot commodity with college recruiters. Yale and the in-state schools are among those interested in obtaining Allen's services.

"I'm not sure where I want to play ball, and I don't want to decide right now," Brett said. "My first goal is to win a state championship. First of all, I want that."

However, like many prep stars, speculation continues to mount on the recruiting circuit. And since his father played for Utah . . .

"That's strictly up to Brett. He's got options," said John. "I wouldn't push him in (Utah's) direction, but it would be nice - if that's his desire. I want him to do whatever he wants."

Brett's willpower was put to the test last summer when a waterskiing accident, which left him with a torn deltoid, temporarily left his basketball career in doubt.

"I was really scared for two or three weeks," said Brett. "I guess I got lucky. It's all the way better."

The incident occurred at Flaming Gorge when his ski tips hit the water. Brett had the tow rope tucked under his armpit and two violent jerks later, he was in excruciating pain. He then endured a 35-mile drive to a Wyoming hospital before receiving medical attention - in the meantime, his arm had swollen greatly.

Fortunately for Allen, time healed all wounds. The damage wasn't permanent.

"I haven't waterskied since," said Brett. "I'll go back, but I won't put the rope under my armpit."

Speaking of returns, Bountiful has climbed back to elite status the last two years. Without a state championship since 1982, the Braves reached the final four last year and currently hold a 7-0 mark this season.

"That's no accident at all," said Maxwell. "Brett is an integral part of the whole thing. And whenever you have a good player in the system they bring three or four good players with them."

Indeed, `team' is hardly a four-letter word at Bountiful.

"I'd rather win than anything else," said Brett. "And it seems like we know how to win. I don't think it's all me. (My teammates) deserve as much credit."

His coach agrees.

"Brett's not forcing the issue," said Maxwell. "He's letting the game come to him."

And it all begins with his shot.

"Hopefully, it's one thing I've got going for me," said Allen, who has spent hours perfecting it.

"Shooting is not something you're born with," said Maxwell, a shooter of reknown in his playing days at Highland. "If you put the time in, you're going to be a shooter."

And simply put, Brett Allen is a shooter - shooting his way into comfortable family footsteps.