By Laura Amato
Jose Alvarado’s plan for this summer was to work harder than anyone, train longer than anyone and in the end be better than anyone else.
So far, it seems the Christ the King basketball standout’s plan has worked out pretty well.
Alvarado excelled on the AAU circuit over the last few weeks—wrapping up his final season with the NY Rens—and now he’s reaping the benefits of all that effort.
“I wanted to show people that I could just play,” Alvarado said. “That was the plan. That was really it.”
Alvarado had a dominant junior season with the Royals this year, with 18.1 points and six assists per game, but he was still disappointed with the way things ended.
Christ the King came up short of winning a fourth-straight city championship, falling to Bishop Loughlin in the semifinals last season and that disappointment fueled Alvarado whenever he put on a Rens uniform.
“I just do whatever I can and I’m trying to get as good as I want to be,” Alvarado said. “I want to be the best basketball player I can. I’m going to get the job done. I’m not the most athletic. I’m not the best handler or the best shooter, but I’m going to make it all work. That’s just how I play.”
This isn’t Alvarado’s first stint on the AAU circuit—he’s been playing with the Rens since he was in the seventh grade—but there was something special about this summer.
This was his last chance to prove himself, a chance to showcase his skills to the entire country and, most importantly, to college coaches. Alvarado wasn’t going to waste a chance like that.
“It’s given me a good opportunity to play against some of the best,” he said. “This is my first and only AAU team. They brought me in when I was really nothing and they just believed in me the whole time. They became really important to me.”
While Alvarado might not think he’s the best at handing the ball or scoring, he’s proven himself wrong this summer—taking on some of the best in the country and driving past them with ease. Or at least dishing it off to a teammate who can do the same.
Alvarado’s reputation has skyrocketed over the last few weeks, going from highly-touted recruit to must-see basketball talent.
He’s picked up looks from Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State, while Seton Hall has been actively pursuing him over the last few weeks. Rutgers—under first-year coach Steve Pikiell—has also shown serious interest.
Alvarado is taking it all in stride, determined to find the perfect fit.
“I want to feel comfortable,” Alvarado said. “I want to find somewhere I know that I’ll fit and somewhere that will need me the most.”
Before he deals with anything that has to do with college and major basketball decisions, Alvarado is taking a few moments to catch his breath. And then, he’s going to get back to work.
After all, he’s got a city championship to win this season.
“I think I can do a little bit more,” Alvarado said. “I want to take every opportunity. I really appreciate everything and I know that it’s all a blessing.”