ATLANTA, Ga. --- Jose Alvarado's 16U NY Rens AAU team always seems to be in a close game late, and yet Alvarado repeatedly finds ways to get his team a win.
Alvarado, one of the best point guards on the Adidas AAU circuit, led his Rens to the 16U title game at the Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta this week. They ultimately lost to New Orleans Elite, but Alvarado was impressive nevertheless. The 2017 point guard from Christ the King High School in New York continues to pick up new interest.
Alvarado told AllHoosiers.com he has offers from VCU, Georgia Tech, Indiana, SMU, St. John's, Seton Hall, Miami, Hofstra, Fordham and Iona. He said he would like to visit IU at some point in the near future.
"I talk to them pretty often," Alvarado said. "They are in one of the best conferences and have great coaches already. They tell me, 'Just keep playing your basketball. We love your game.'"
Alvarado, a former high school teammate of 2016 guard Rawle Alkins, is one of the best leaders I've ever seen on the AAU circuit. He has full control of his team and makes sure his teammates are in the best position to succeed. Alvarado has excellent vision and is a strong scorer inside of the 3-point line, and he defends with a ferocity not normally seen in AAU ball.
"I was born with it. Ever since I started playing basketball, that was in me," Alvarado said of his leadership. "It's really important to my game. Not only does it make me a better player, it makes my team better."
To get an idea how important Alvarado is to his team, consider this: When the NY Rens played without him during a Gauntlet event in Dallas, they lost games by 35 and 27 points. With him, they are one of the very best teams in the country.
Alvarado has missed certain events because of his inclusion on the Puerto Rican 16U national team.
"It was a great experience to play for my country," he said.
Alvarado averaged 23.5 points per game in eight games of Gauntlet play. He averaged 24.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in four games at the Gauntlet Finale this week. Alvarado had 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in Saturday's championship game against New Orleans Elite.
When asked what he feels like are the strengths to his game, Alvarado unsurprisingly said: "Defense, just defense. Defense wins games."
Alvarado is one of my favorite 2017 players to watch, and he would be a nice pickup for Indiana. Watch highlights of Alvarado in the embedded video player below.