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Dalton named to Tennessee Wesleyan Hall of Fame

Allen Dalton has earned quite a bit of fame during his high school and college playing days.

The McMinnville resident, who was inducted several years ago into the Warren County Sports Hall of Fame, now has a matching collegiate honor.

Dalton was inducted Dec. 4 into the Tennessee Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame after starring there for four years on the basketball court from 1978-1983.

“I was very surprised when they called and told me I made the Hall of Fame,” said Dalton. “I was surprised and very honored.”

His collegiate career almost didn’t get started.

“I didn’t really want to go to college,” said Dalton, 62. “Ken Smith was a teacher and a coach here at that time and he called the coach there at Tennessee Wesleyan and said he had a player for him. So I went down there and he had his best player, a 6-foot-4 freshman who was the top scorer in the league, he had him play me in a game of 1-on-1. I guess I held my own because after the game the coach told me, ‘We’d love to have you on our team.’” It was the start of a memorable college career for Dalton, who was named team MVP his senior year and was honorable mention NAIA All-American. He finished with 1,458 points, ranking him 14th on the school’s all-time scoring list.

At 5-foot-10, Dalton was a guard who could shoot, but he also had a 41-inch vertical leap.

“I told my teammates to just throw it up and get it over the rim and I’d do the rest,” said Dalton. “I had two or three dunks a game.”

He remembers he put 44 points on the board during his best scoring game in college. “And coach took me out with five or six minutes to go,” he said.

Dalton comes from a family with a rich athletic history. His father, Charlie Dalton, has the gym at Warren County High School named in his honor and is also a member of the Hall of Fame at his college, Mississippi Valley State. Charlie Dalton was a longtime local coach.

“My dad taught a lot of people and changed a lot of lives and was a big part of Warren County athletics,” said Dalton.

His sister, the former Lisa Dalton, was a member of the Lady Pioneer state championship basketball team.

Allen was a member of the Warren County class of 1978 and started for the Pioneer basketball team as a sophomore. He was on the team with Raymond Martin, Danny Martin and Mickey Bess that reached the substate and lost to Chattanooga Howard.

After his college days, Dalton enjoyed a 14-year career as a police officer before transitioning to a career at Averitt Express where he’s been for the past 23 years. He is married to Barbara Bailey Dalton.