Meet Jose Alvarado, a junior guard from Brooklyn, N.Y., who in his third year in the Yellow Jackets program has overcome two major injuries to become the leader of the team on the court and in the locker room. On Wednesday night, Alvarado became the 45th player in Georgia Tech history to score 1,000 points in his career, and he is closing in on the top 10 all-time on The Flats in steals. This season, the 6-foot guard set a Tech single-game record with nine steals against NC State, breaking the mark of eight set by another Brooklyn native and Tech great, Kenny Anderson.
Alvarado missed eight games early this season with an ankle injury, but returned to become one of the best players in the ACC, ranking among the top 10 in scoring, field goal percentage, assists and steals in conference games.
He has also become a father, with a baby girl named Naz born on Feb. 5.
What has been your favorite thing about being at Georgia Tech?
“It’s felt like a family since I was recruited. I can’t complain, they’ve treated me with such kindness, I just love to be here.”
What are your hobbies off the court?
“I like to watch movies and relax. I’m a big, big Toy Story fan. I like all of them, and the last one made me cry, that’s my favorite cartoon movie.”
What players did you grow up watching/modeling your game after?
“Chris Paul is probably one of my all-time favorite players, point guard-wise. I like how he plays and how he goes about his business. I remember one interview when I was probably in 6th grade/7th grade he said “I hate losing more than I like winning” so that really got to me. He was like, ‘the most important thing is I take pride in handling the ball, taking care of the ball, if someone can steal it from me, it’s like someone walking up to me and taking mine out of my hand,’ and I really liked that.”
What is something people might not know about you?
“I’m probably one of the first family members to go to college. That’s a big one, because I’m a big time family person. Also, that I might be a little crazy on the court, but I’m a nice person outside of the court.”
If you weren’t playing basketball, what sport would you be playing?
“Baseball. That was my dad’s sport. I was really good at it. I started when I was like two years old and I was doing it for a long time until I just got too hyper for it. I need to move around.”
If you could only eat one meal the rest of your life, what is on your plate?
“My mom’s cooking. Her spaghetti, and like my favorite meal of all time in this whole world is her rice and beans and pork chops. It’s a Hispanic thing.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
“The best advice I got was from my grandmother. Keep fighting. Nothing is bigger or stronger than you in this world if you look at it as you being the person who you are. That was the best advice she gave me, because at one point I wanted to give up because I saw her fighting through cancer, and she made me realize I could do what I could do.”
What’s your go-to gas station snack?
“Sunflower seeds. BBQ Sunflower seeds, I could eat that all day.”