In the third grade, a lifelong friendship was born through an AAU basketball team.
From the gridiron to the hardwood, the two were inseparable as kids, despite playing for different teams.
“We grew up playing against each other, that’s what’s funny,” Allen said.
Growing up in the same area, both were bound to hit it off.
“I remember them coming together and being great friends,” Addison’s dad Julias said. “They never looked back at it when they were in the third grade.”
Allen and Addison were both raised in Missouri City, Texas.
Known as a hotbed for football talent, the two took full advantage of their situation and left behind a mark that still resonates today.
“It makes me proud because we got two guys from the same neighborhood that are playing at one of the premiere schools in the nation,” Fort Bend Elkins coach Dennis Brantley said.
Allen and Addison played at rival high schools that were just blocks away. Allen played for Fort Bend Elkins, while Addison played at Fort Bend Hightower.
“The two schools were right down the street,” former Fort Bend Hightower coach Barry Abercrombie said. “We had always been really good rivals.”
Naturally, the two created an uproar whenever they went head-to-head.
“It was chaotic,” Julias said. “Kind of miss those times, but there’s nothing like a Duck game, I’ll tell you that.”
Addison ended up beating Allen two out of the three times they played in high school.
During the games, it was mayhem for both families.
“To see them go to separate schools and play against each other was hard for me,” Allen’s mom Alycia said. “Once the game starts, you battle it out, but when you walk off that field, you’re still brothers no matter what.”
On the field, it was always business for Addison and Allen.
“During the game, we would be all business,” Bralon said. “At the coin toss, I always remember he would try to make jokes with me, but I would never listen to him.”
Off the field though, it was always a family event as both families celebrated and supported one another.
“After the games, we would all go to the same restaurant and eat,” Alycia said. “It was never divided. Whatever goes on the field, you leave it on the field.”
Naturally, this brought both families, closer together.
Now, that both are at Oregon, the families have continued their mutual support by picking one game per year to fly to Eugene and watch the game together.
“One game, we do a big family game,” Alycia said. “Both the families will fly out there. We just have to represent our boys. We’re all one big unit.”
Both Allen and Addison were primarily taken care of by their single mothers growing up, while also having the luxury of full support from their fathers.
Despite both of their parents being separated, they always made it a priority to raise their children.
Allen and Addison may not have grown up in traditional homes, but they did end up molding into the men their families always wanted them to be.
“They’re growing into young men that both me, Bralon’s mom and Chance’s parents were hoping and praying they could become,” Julias said.
To thank their parents, both Allen and Addison have remained humble and worked hard on the field and in the classroom.
“Being an only child and having one mother just makes you want everything more,” Allen said. “Not just for me, but for my mom, my dad and for my children that I hope to have in the future.”
Furthering their family ties, Addison and Allen also carry their fathers’ athletic talents as well as the mental toughness and genuine care they learned from their mothers.
“You tend to get that (athletic talent) from your dad,” Addison said. “Our dads definitely played a big role in our sports life.”
Ever since the moment Allen and Addison committed to Oregon, the two families have shared the joy of finally watching their kids play together at the college level.
“We’re so close,” Alycia said. “Any of the fans will tell you, I have a shirt that says Bralon and Chance on it when I walk up into the stadium.”
But before the two officially decided to attend Oregon, it was almost certain that the two would end up at different schools.
Addison, who had initially committed to both Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, had no intention of attending Oregon.
If it wasn’t for a text from Allen to Addison, the two may have never fulfilled their dreams of playing together.
“I remember the text like it was yesterday,” Addison said. “It’s been our dream to be on the same actual school team and he told me, ‘let’s just play together.’ I was so scared and Chance helped me make the decision. I’m so happy I chose this school, there’s no better place.”
These past couple months have been a challenging time for Allen and Addison. Prior to Addison suffering the torn ACL, the two were looking forward to playing alongside each other.
Unfortunately, they will have to wait a little longer.
“Everyone thought this was going to be the year,” Julias said. “Just got to be a little bit more patient now. It will definitely happen and when it does, we’ll be very excited.”
However, out of this misfortune, Allen and Addison have epitomized the meaning of blessing in disguise.
“It was actually a blessing in disguise,” Julias said. “We always go by everything happens for a reason and we do believe this was Chance’s opportunity to show the world his talents.”
Addison has stepped up as a leader on the sidelines, helping mentor Allen in any way he can. In return, Allen said he is dedicating his season to Addison.
Even amid this low point in Bralon’s career, the two have figured out a way to support each other.
“I’ve just been trying to be there for him as much as he’s been there for me,” Bralon said. “It’s definitely been easier having him here with me.”
Luckily for Addison, he has been granted one extra year of eligibility, making for what will be a special return when he and Allen can finally step onto the field together.
“Hopefully me and my best friend can have the opportunity to be on the same field at the same time and bring our moms to tears again,” Bralon said.
To last 13 years as best friends is a rarity. With time, friendships come and go, but Allen and Addison have managed to withstand normalcy.
“For them to hold that bond and still be the best of best friends, it’s really positive for those guys,” Julias said. “I have the confidence in them that they will remain great friends for the rest of their lives.”
Wherever they may go, they will always look to each other for support and guidance, something their parents are continually proud of.
“I’m excited that they have the opportunity to be there (Oregon) together,” Addison’s mom Sonya Swindell said. “What will come of it, I’m not quite sure, but I’m happy for them right now.”
With all the blood, sweat and tears the two have shared over the years, Allen and Addison have been a living example that you don’t have to be blood related to be family.
“Since day one, it was a bond,” Allen said. “It’s just a blessing to have not a friend, but a brother. I’m happy that God blessed him here with me and I hope our future is big.”
Follow Hayden Kim on Twitter @HayDayKim