Georgia Tech alum Jose Alvarado grateful for lessons learned in college

Jose Alvarado has earned everything he has achieved in the NBA.

Alvarado, who signed a two-way contract with the Pelicans after going undrafted in 2021, continues to use the lessons he learned at Georgia Tech.

On Saturday night against the host Hawks, Alvarado used his ball movement and sharp passing to boost the Pelicans’ bench in a 124-121 overtime loss. He finished with four assists and five points in about 16 minutes.

“When Jose gets in the game, you know what he’s going to bring,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “His toughness, he is going to bring energy and an extremely fast pace. He makes the right play over and over again, so we can depend on him.”

Alvarado, who is 11th all time in career assists at Georgia Tech with 384, received a four-year, $6.5 million contract from the Pelicans earlier this year.

Though he did not record a steal Saturday against the Hawks, Alvarado ranks fifth among second-year players in steals and 63rd in the NBA.

“Georgia Tech did a very good job of making me grow up not just as a basketball player but as a person,” said Alvarado, who is third on the Yellow Jackets’ all-time steals list with 226. “People were there by my side the whole time, they corrected me and helped me learn from the mistakes I made there. They built great character there, and that’s what they did with me.”

Alvarado, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2021, helped the Pelicans make the playoffs in his rookie season. He said his experience at Georgia Tech changed his life.

“On the court mainly, they never let me get out of being myself while letting me be myself,” Alvarado said. “When I made mistakes, they didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, they told me what I needed to hear. They prepared me to get to the next level by working hard and providing that support.”

In his last season at Tech, Alvarado helped lead the Yellow Jackets to their first ACC championship in 28 years and their first NCAA Tournament game since 2011.

“Georgia Tech knows how I feel about them,” said Alvarado, who earned a degree in literature, media and communications. “I said it before in an interview, Georgia Tech changed my life. It was the best decision I made, and the past four years there, I’m thankful for them accepting who I am and who I became. Without them, I would not be here, and without them, I probably would never have built as much confidence in myself. So, Georgia Tech, thank you for everything you have done.”