By Laura Amato
Christ the King basketball star Jose Alvarado doesn’t get nervous often, but as he stood in front of friends and family Sept. 15, he stumbled over his words just a bit.
After all, he was making a big choice.
Alvarado—who has long been the spark that makes the Royals’ offense go—announced his college decision and while he was slightly nervous, the point guard is still confident with his choice. He’s going to Georgia Tech to play with the Yellow Jackets.
“I thought it was the perfect fit. The ACC is a big conference and I feel like I’m ready for that,” Alvarado said. “It’s a fast-paced offense, pick and roll. That’s my game. I fell in love with the campus and I’m just looking forward to it.”
Alvarado cut his list to three schools—Rutgers, Seton Hall and Georgia Tech—earlier in the month and there were plenty of people who thought he would stay close to home, certain that Rutgers was the front-runner.
The senior star was quick to point out that each program brought particular strengths to the table, but said he felt most comfortable when he visited the Georgia Tech campus in August. In the end, that’s what cemented his decision—which he officially made on the night of Sept. 14.
“They made me feel welcome and they made me feel like it was home. I picture myself being there, being around the community, the players,” said Alvarado, following in the footsteps of other Yellow Jackets like Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury, who both hail from New York. “They made me feel welcome and that’s why I felt like I could go there.”
The Yellow Jackets are in a period of big-time rebuilding.
In fact, coach Josh Pastner, instrumental in Alvarado’s recruitment, only took over the position in April. But while that may have deterred other recruits from heading to Atlanta, the chance to be on the ground floor of a program appealed to Alvarado in a big way.
“In my opinion, I’m just going in knowing I’m the best point guard in the ACC and I’m going to show them why,” he said. “It just matters where you go and you get some people with you. Hopefully, I get some people with me and then we just shine from there.”
The opportunity to compete in the ACC was a big plus as well. For a player like Alvarado—a pass-first, shoot-later point guard—the league is a perfect platform to showcase his skills.
“He might not be as athletic as some of these other guards,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. “But in a war, and you’re walking in to play North Carolina and Duke, that’s the difference. You want Jose Alvarado with you. He’s not backing down from anything.”
Alvarado may have been nervous making his final decision, but he’s happy with his choice and, now, he’s simply focused on leading the Royals back to the city championship.
That isn’t something Alvarado is nervous about. In fact, he’s more determined than ever to lead this squad, confident in what he can do on the court and what he can do in the future.
“It’s a big weight off my chest,” Alvarado said. “That’s why I wanted to do this before the season. This year, I’m a senior, this is my team and we’ve got great players. I feel like I’m taking it all this year.”