"Everything that I've received because of this game of basketball was as a UConn Husky," Allen told the crowd.
Allen joins former women's player Rebecca Lobo as the only two players in the school's history to have their numbers put in the rafters. Lobo has a similar ceremony on Saturday.
The school has just one criterion for retiring numbers -- enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Allen was inducted last September after an 18-year career in the NBA.
"It's a special place," Allen said of UConn. "It's the reason that I continue to always come back. I want these young kids to understand that it's a privilege to play here."
At UConn, Allen played three seasons from 1993-1996, averaging 19 points a game as the Huskies went 89-13. He was named a first-team All-American, the Big East player of the year and UPI's national player of the year in his final season.
"Truly it is the honor of my life to have come to the state of Connecticut back in 1993 with no direction whatsoever, but knowing what great fans, what a great basketball state this was," Allen said. "And 30 years later to be able to stand here in front of you and just see some of the old faces and so many new, I just have to thank Coach Calhoun, Coach (Howie) Dickenman, Coach (Dave) Leitao, Coach (Karl) Hobbs and Coach (Tom) Moore for believing in me. Because at 18 years old, I don't know who I am. Most of us don't know who we are. But they saw something in me."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.