Royals Alvarado comfortable in new spotlight

By Joseph Staszewski

Jose Alvarado was warned about what happens when college coaches are allowed to contact players of his caliber.

The Christ the King rising junior point guard didn’t believe it until he got his first taste in early July. Alvarado was with his mother when his phone started going crazy with calls and texts. It got so bad that his mom had to ask who it was who was so insistent on talking to him.

“I was like, ‘Mom, those are all college coaches,’” Alvarado said. “She was just wondering where they are coming from.”

It is the type of attention the 6-foot tall, three-star guard is going to have to get used to. He is in high demand by colleges and will be one of the faces of the Royals program for the next two seasons.

Alvarado, rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, has offers from Rutgers, Georgia Tech, SMU, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Miami, Indiana and VCU. He said VCU, Indiana and Miami are making a serious early push. Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello sees the number of colleges interested in Alvarado only increasing in number and level.

“He wants to be an elite guard and I think he can get there,” Arbitello said.

Alvarado understands he can’t rest on his laurels. For him that means getting a little stronger and giving himself more options offensively. He is working to improve his pull-up jumper, ball handling skills and efficiency in a pick and roll. He’s already shooting the ball better, which Arbitello believes is the reason his stock is rising.

“I developed a lot from last year,” Alvarado said. “I’ve gotten stronger. I’m going to work on all of it. It’s going to be a different me.”

He made an immediate impact at Christ the King as a sophomore and was a big reason it won a third straight CHSAA Intersectional Class AA crown and reached the state Federation title game. Alvarado was the team’s second leading scorer at 12 points per game and scored over 20 points on five different occasions.

“I always thought he would be great, but I didn’t it would happen so fast,” Arbitello said.

Alvarado expects the same old Christ the King despite the loss of star Rawle Alkins to prep school. Arbitello doesn’t see his point guard’s role changing much because of that loss, but the team itself will have to operate differently.

One thing that also won’t change is Alvarado’s approach to his now very busy cell phone as he becomes more and more in-demand.

“My parents always tell me to stay humble,” Alvarado said. “And keep your mind right.”

He’s going to need to as the recruiting process continues. Alvarado’s phone will only get busier.

“He’s going to become a high priority on a lot of major Division I coaches’ lists,” Arbitello said. “This is going to be the second phase of this. He needs to prepare himself for that.”

More from Around New York