Goodbye, champ: Allen McCowan dead

THE Border is in shock after the sudden death of well-loved sport identity Allen McCowan.

McCowan, 42, passed away at Albury Base hospital this morning after suffering a suspected heart-attack.

The Kentucky native was a giant and champion of both the basketball world and local community.

He arrived in Australia from America in 1994 as a high-profile recruit to the Albury-Wodonga Bandits.

“I had six months to kill so I said ‘why not?’,” McCowan said in 2006. “I got here, I liked the area, I liked the team and I had fun so I didn’t go back.”

He went on to become the Bandits’ greatest ever player, and a champion of the SEABL.

But he is most-loved at his adopted home for his work off the basketball court.

McCowan was named Albury’s citizen of the year in 2008 in acknowledgement of his charitable work with ill and underprivileged children and his efforts as a role model for young athletes.

More recently, he took a group of budding basketballers on a tour of the US.

McCowan is survived by his wife Caroline and his daughters Jade, Aleira and Kijana.

TOMORROW: A special edition of the Border Mail, paying tribute to a man loved by all on the Border.