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Alvarado Leads Puerto Rico to Berth in Paris Olympics

THE FLATS – Former Georgia Tech basketball star Jose Alvarado scored a game-high 23 points Sunday, leading his Puerto Rico team to a 79-68 victory over Lithuania in the championship game of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico team, ending a 20-year Olympic drought, becomes the final team to qualify for the 2024 Olympic games, July 27-August 10 in Paris, France.

The leader of the Yellow Jackets’ 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference championship team becomes the sixth Yellow Jacket player to compete in the Olympics since 2004. Tech has sent a player to compete in every Olympic games dating back to 2004.

  • 2024 – Jose Alvarado (PUR)
  • 2020 – Josh Okogie (NIG) / Avi Schafer (JPN)
  • 2016 – Alade Aminu (NIG)
  • 2012 – Alade Aminu (NIG)
  • 2008 – Chris Bosh (USA)
  • 2004 – Stephon Marbury (USA)

Puerto Rico put the finishing touches on a dream week Sunday night with a historic 79-68 victory over Lithuania to win the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in San Juan and grab the remaining ticket to Paris 2024.

Alvarado, Tremont Waters and company put on a show in front of 2004 legends like Carlos Arroyo and crowd of 13,504 ecstatic souls at Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot. Puerto Rico’s offense came in waves and each of their runs had the strength of a hurricane.

Alvarado took the intensity to 11 from the beginning of the game, setting the tone with suffocating defense, breathtaking speed and bulls-eye accuracy from beyond the arc.

The New Orleans Pelicans guard scored 10 points in a key stretch of the third quarter where Puerto Rico took control of the game. He finished with 23 points, six rebounds and two steals for a 23 efficiency, while shooting 9-for-14 from the field and 4-for-6 from downtown.

For his heroics, the 26-year-old was also named TISSOT MVP of the tournament. He was the second-leading scorer in the San Juan Olympic Qualifying Tournament, averaging 16 points on the strength of his 29-point game against Italy in the group phase and his 23-point effort Sunday night. Alvarado connected on 50 percent of his shots from the floor (22-for-44), 50 percent from three-point range (12-for-16) and 100 percent from the foul line (8-for-8).

Exactly 20 years after Puerto Rico shocked the world by defeating United States in Athens, they return to the Olympic games, sharing Group C with United States, Serbia and South Sudan in Paris.

Puerto Rico clinch semifinals spot after triumphant debut (FIBA Basketball)

Puerto Rico beats Italy for first time since 1963 (FIBA Basketball)

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its second year under head coach Damon Stoudamire. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won four ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993, 2021), played in the NCAA Tournament 17 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on X (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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