Allyssa DeHaan

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Allyssa DeHaan
College Michigan State University
Grand Valley State University
Sport Basketball
Position Center
Class Graduated 2010
Nickname Big Al,
Career 2006–present
Height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Nationality  United States
Born (1988-06-21) June 21, 1988 (age 27)
Grandville, Michigan, United States
High school Grandville High School

  • Voted Michigan Miss Basketball of 2005
  • Ranked among the top 25 centers in the nation
  • A Five time Big Ten Player of the Week
  • 2007 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
  • First MSU freshman to score 400-plus points
  • Has set Big Ten single-season blocks record in back-to-back seasons with 145 in 2006-07 and 150 in 07-08.
  • 2007-08 All-Big Ten First Team
  • Ranked second all-time in Division I with 503 career blocks

Allyssa DeHaan (born June 21, 1988 in Grandville, Michigan) is an American former collegiate basketball and volleyball player. She played for Michigan State University from 2006 to 2010.

She is ranked as the fourth all-time in career points (1,649), rebounds (919) and she is one of just three Spartans to place in the top-five of both categories. She also ranks third in MSU history in made field goals (640) and made free throws (351), and seventh in free throw percentage (79.8%). DeHaan finished her career with four-year averages of 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game. She is also ranked second all-time in Division I with 503 career blocks.

DeHaan is 2.06 metres (6 ft 9 in) tall,[1] making her one of the tallest female basketball players in the country and the tallest player in Michigan State history.

Early life[edit]

DeHaan was born on June 21, 1988, in Grandville, Michigan, the daughter of Tracie and Brandon DeHaan. Allyssa's athletic life began with gymnastics in preschool. She also tried ballet, ice skating, swimming, tee ball and volleyball before she ever picked up a basketball in fifth grade. When some parents of AAU players walked into the gym and saw her doing gymnastics, they asked her to join their basketball team, to which DeHaan agreed. She also started playing pickup games in the driveway with her mom, who played basketball at Northwestern University.

DeHaan has always been tall and is very proud to be.[2] Dehaan's parents are also tall; her father is 6 ft 6 in and her mother is 6 ft 4 in, but Alyssa was to outgrow both of them. In middle school, she had already reached 6 ft 2 in and rapidly grew another six inches in just under a year, between sixth and seventh grade. She was 6 ft 7 in as a high school sophomore and graduated from Grandville High School at 6 ft 8 in. Already the tallest female player in Michigan State history when she joined the basketball team, she unexpectedly grew another inch before playing her first season at 6 ft 9 in. DeHaan is not afflicted with Marfan syndrome or any other kind of Overgrowth syndrome, but instead she is simply extremely tall. She has a 39-inch inseam, and she wears a men's size 14 shoes.[3] Deeply religious, DeHaan attributes her great height as a divine gift given to her from God.[4]

DeHaan stated that she likes being the center of attention wherever she goes, saying, "I'm pretty used to drawing eyes in public because I've always been pretty tall." She admits buying clothes can be difficult and time consuming.[2]

Allyssa's younger brother Collin, is 6 ft 11 in.[5]

High school[edit]

DeHaan attended Grandville High School. She set the Michigan girls high school single-season blocks record with 236 in her junior season. As a junior in 2004 - 2005 she averaged 27.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg. and 9.5 bpg. She led Grandville to a 22-2 record and conference, district and regional championships as a senior in 2005-06.

In November 2005 she was named Michigan Miss Basketball of 2005, an award given annually to the top senior high school basketball player in the state. She won with 816 points while her nearest rival had 502. DeHaan was also named the Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2005. DeHaan was ranked among the top 25 centers in the nation by All-Star Girls Report and named to The Grand Rapids Press all-area team.

DeHaan ranked second on the team in scoring and despite being a rookie played a crucial role in keeping the team on track, guiding them to their first 3-0 mark in conference play since 1991. By the time she was a senior she had led Grandville to district and regional championships, averaging 24 points, nine rebounds and nine blocked shots a game. This led Grandville to the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history. She was also a member of the volleyball team and earned honorable mention all-conference honors [6]

Michigan State[edit]

DeHaan's choice of university erupted into a national recruiting war, with offers coming as far away as Tennessee, Connecticut, Purdue, Louisiana State, Duke and Kentucky.[7] DeHaan chose Michigan State University (after narrowing her choices to Michigan State, Grand Valley State, and Cornerstone College) and had one of the most dominant freshman seasons in Big Ten history. DeHaan said she chose MSU because "I have the opportunity to win a national championship, and equally pursue another dream of becoming a doctor at the same time".


In her collegiate debut on November 17, 2006, DeHaan scored a team-high 15 points. Two days later, DeHaan set a then-school-record with eight blocked shots, seven of which she made in the second half, as well as scoring her first career double-double in the game, scoring 11 points, and making 11 rebounds. On November 24, 2006, DeHaan scored 17 points and nine rebounds in a game her team won 85-66. DeHaan's dominance continued on November 29, 2006, when she made another career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds for her second career double-double, which was the second-highest game total for a freshman in Michigan State history.

In her first season, DeHaan had earned spots on the All-Big Ten Second Team and the All-Big Ten Defensive Team, as well as the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.[6]

On March 2, 2007, in a game against Minnesota where she was described as "unstoppable," Michigan State won a 77-68 victory.[8]

DeHaan began her first season setting a string of new school records, including smashing the school's previous single-season blocks record in her first twelve games. She scored 145 points, beating the previous record of 57 points set by Kristen Rasmussen. DeHaan's 69 blocks during Big Ten regular-season games was the third-best mark in the school's history, just 27 points behind Trish Andrew's mark of 96 set in the 1991 - 1992 season.

During the summer of 2007, DeHaan played at the FIBA U19 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, leading the successful Team USA, which would win a gold medal. DeHaan was ranked second amongst all players at the tournament making 19 blocks. In the tournament she averaged 5.0 points and 6.6 rebounds.[1]


DeHaan had another record-breaking season as a sophomore. She would become the fourth person in Michigan State woman's basketball history to reach 300 points and 200 rebounds. To cap off her successful first season, DeHaan would become the first ever MSU freshman to score over 400 points. Named MSU Co-Player of the Year with Kalisha Keane. Made 30 consecutive free throws during one stretch in 2007-08, the fourth-longest streak in MSU history, Named Big Ten Player of the Week three times in 2007-08.[9] On December 16, 2007 she became MSU's all-time leader in blocked shots. She reached the mark in just 43 career games. With three blocks on December 20, DeHaan became the fastest player in NCAA Division I history to reach the 200-block milestone while playing in her freshman and sophomore seasons.[10]


DeHaan became the Big Ten career blocked shots leader, MSU's 19th 1,000-point scorer and was also named Second Team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media. She appeared in all 33 games, and averaged 10.8 points, ranking her second on the team and 19th in the Big Ten, Also added a team-bests in 6.3 rebounds (13th in the conference) and 3.2 blocks, Led the team and Big Ten with 107 blocks, placing her third in the nation and third on the MSU single-season list, Second on the team and ninth in the Big Ten with a 46.5% field goal percentage, Had 18 double-figure scoring efforts and two double-doubles; also added three double-digit rebounding games, Led MSU in scoring in 12 games (11-1 record) and rebounding in 12 games, Big Ten All-Defensive Team, Academic All-Big Ten, ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Second Team, Named to the Berkeley Regional All-Tournament Team.


DeHaan averaged 10.6 points and 5.8 rebounds while blocking 101 shots during her senior season. She left Michigan State ranked as the fourth all-time in career points (1,649), rebounds (919) and she is one of just three Spartans to place in the top-five of both categories. She also ranks third in MSU history in made field goals (640) and she made free throws (351), and seventh in free throw percentage (79.8%). DeHaan finished her career with four-year averages of 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game. She is also ranked second all-time in Division I with 503 career blocks

Shortly before the end of her final season in March, Dehaan was in a game when she was hit in the back and it flared up. She had played a mere eight minutes before leaving early in the first half with back spasms and did not return. It was later revealed that she was playing with a herniated disc in her back.[11]

DeHaan took a medical school placement test during the summer and returned to Michigan State later in the Fall to finish up her degree in human biology. She graduated in December, 2010.[11]

USA Basketball[edit]

DeHaan was a member of the USA Women's U19 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia. The event was held in July and August 2007, when the USA team defeated Sweden to win the championship. DeHaan helped the team the gold medal, scoring 5.0 points per game.[12]

Grand Valley State[edit]

In August, 2011 DeHaan announced she would pursue her graduate studies further at Grand Valley State University and would also be joining the university’s volleyball team; the GVSU Lakers. She will first be participating in the fall training camp and she has stated that she will be available to play one full year of volleyball.[13]

DeHaan had already planned on taking some prerequisite classes at GVSU, where she plans to apply in the physician assistant program, when she was approached by the Lakers coach Deanne Scanlon with the idea of joining and DeHaan agreed. Her position is a Middle Blocker.

When asked what her greatest asset will be to the team, DeHaan replied confidently, “I’m 6-foot-9, I think that says it all right there.” She was the tallest player on the roster.[14]


College Notes[edit]

  • Set the Michigan State single-season blocks record with 236 blocks in her junior season
  • The fourth freshman in Michigan State University's history to reach 300 points and 200 rebounds.
  • She was named to The Grand Rapids Press all-area team for two straight years.
  • First MSU freshman to score 400-plus points [9]
  • She was named the 2007 Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year, as well as being named to the All-Big Ten Defensive Team. She has also been named to All-Big Ten second team and the Big Ten All-Tournament Team. She was also selected the Two-time Big Ten Player of the Week.

GVSU Volleyball Notes[edit]

  • Against Missouri S&T, Dehaan had five kills, three block assists, and three digs.[15][16]

Personal life[edit]

On December 25, 2011, Allyssa's boyfriend, Aaron Clark, proposed to her in the Grand Rapids Press through a proposal contest.[17]


External links[edit]