Mike Alvarado was glum. All Hallows had just lost by 21 points, dropping its third game in four tries on the young season. But, gradually, a smile peeked through.
It came when his future, a bright one at that, was mentioned, and when he looked around Draddy Gym, his future home. It turned into a full-blown grin when it was relayed that his future coach, Manhattan’s Barry Rohrssen, was in attendance watching his future recruit, the Gaels’ starting point guard.
“It’s gonna be exciting,” the junior said. “My family and friends get to see me all the time.”
Family is why Alvarado, a 6-foot-1, pass-first guard, left Wyoming Seminary Prep in Pennsylvania in the first place. He wanted to be closer to his parents, Roslyn and Miguel, and 10-year-old sister Elsie.
When Manhattan offered, Alvarado hardly had to think twice. His family would be able to attend virtually every game. The Riverdale school, he said, is a 15-minute bus trip from their Bronx home.
Plus, he immediately found himself comfortable with Rohrssen and his coaching staff, not to mention the New York City-centric roster.
“I decided to go for it,” said Alvarado, who spends his summers playing with New Heights on the AAU circuit. “It felt like home.”
He was sold Nov. 29, when the Jaspers lost to Hofstra, 65-61, in an intense game that featured several lead changes.
“The atmosphere was great,” he said. “Everybody played with heart. That’s what I’ll do. … I’ll try to lead the team the best I can.”