Alvarado is nearing the end of a series of pre-draft practices scheduled to end on Tuesday. With his Yellow Jackets teammate Moses Wright, he was due to train for the Clippers on Monday, then for the Lakers on Tuesday.
Sharing a meal with Wright on Sunday night in Los Angeles, Alvarado said, “We were just talking about this whole process and how it gets surreal. Thursday is the day for us. We have waited for it all our life.To exploreGeorgia Tech’s Prince of Thieves Shines as Senior
It was Alvarado’s belief that he was ready to pursue that dream that ultimately led him to stay in the draft on July 7, the last day he could have pulled out of the draft and play a fifth college season.
“I’m very comfortable with it,” Alvarado said. “It was really close to what I wanted to do. I love Georgia Tech, I love the program, and I love everyone who was there. So it was a very difficult decision for me to make, but I don’t regret it. I love Georgia Tech, but I think I was just ready to be a pro, just from a state of mind perspective.
Alvarado said he received positive feedback from the teams he worked for, mostly focused on his energy and effort, two qualities that have separated him and helped him win the title of Defensive Player of the Year. ‘ACC and lead the Jackets to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010.
“It’s more than half the (battle),” he said of his intensity and determination. “You cannot teach this. Many teams have said so. The feedback is really good.
He also said he had heard no assurances from a team that they would draft it if he was available. Alvarado said comments were not a determining factor in the decision. It was mainly his belief that after four years at ACC and a technology degree in hand, he was ready.
That said, his performances in training (Alvarado has said his last two training sessions in Los Angeles will take him to 17) and the G League side have given him added confidence in his decision to stay in the draft.To exploreAlvarado enjoys the NBA pre-draft process
“I felt like I belonged,” he said. “It’s not like I’m just going in there and saying, ‘I just wanna be a pro.’ I went to the workouts and felt comfortable with the way I was performing and how I was doing. It was good for me, like I was doing my part. Geez, the workouts and my performances made me feel more comfortable with the decision.
After Tech’s season ended in March and he made the decision to enter the draft, Alvarado said he had embarked on the process by keeping open the possibility of returning, but with the attitude of committing to stay in the draft, advice he received from coach Josh. Pastor.
“Because you just don’t want to focus on like, Oh I’m going to a workout and at least if it’s not going well, at least I have this option (to go back to school ), ”Alvarado said. “I didn’t want to do this. I wanted to think more like, this is my only option.
As the July 7 deadline approaches, Alvarado has said he’s in the air about it. Bringing him back to Tech was an opportunity to add to his legacy and play one final season in front of Tech fans in the McCamish Lodge after a year in which the arena’s capacity was capped at 14% in due to COVID-19.
“For me to come back and do it in front of them, that would have been an amazing thing to do,” he said. “But I will always be a Yellow Jacket.”
In the end, Alvarado bet on himself, as he has often and successfully done.
“I went with my gut feeling, and I feel like it was the right decision,” he said.
February 6, 202 2021 Atlanta – Georgia Tech goalie Jose Alvarado (10) celebrates his victory over Notre Dame at the end of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta on Saturday February 6, 2021. Georgia Tech won 82-80 over Notre Dame. (Hyosub Shin / [email protected])
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Interestingly, he said that at the start of the process he briefly considered accessing the transfer portal. Alvarado said he had heard rumors he could be transferred, possibly to Kentucky.
“I might have thought about it for a couple of seconds and then it was like, it’s not for me,” he said.
Being drafted in the second round seems like a possibility, as does signing as an undrafted free agent with an offer of a two-way contract to play in the NBA and G League. Of course, so does the potential of trying to make your way into the NBA via the G League.
“I think you know that answer,” Alvarado said, asking him if he would be willing to take this arduous path. “It’s what I’ve been doing all my life. I know my road is going to be different from a lot of others, but I’m fine (with this). Because if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t make sense to my story, it wouldn’t make sense to who I am. I’m ready for everything. All I want is someone to give me the opportunity, and then I’ll do the rest.
Having to provide for his daughter Nazanin, born in February 2020, was also a factor in his decision to stay in the draft. However, he has no plans to play in Europe anytime soon, where he could earn a solid salary, but is likely further from his dream of playing in the NBA than he would in the G League.
“Abroad is an option, but not at the moment,” he said.
He called the pre-draft experience “an incredible experience” that he will not forget. He was amazed to have the chance to train and meet Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, Hall of Fame point guard, and also train for the Knicks, the team he grew up on.
“It’s just about having fun with it,” he said. “Because it’s not regular. It is not regular. This is not what ordinary people do. To have fun with, for us to have people around us who believe in us, it’s so much fun. If you’d told me in first year, you’d work with so many teams, I’d have been like, Oh, my God. Does he really believe in it?
Alvarado will now count the hours until Thursday evening and wait for the phone to ring.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, drafted or not drafted,” he said. “I know something good is going to happen on the 29th. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but I do know that something good is going to change my life forever.