Former Manhattan College standout, Michael Alvarado, has returned to the basketball program as a member of the coaching staff for the 2015-2016 season.
“I’m very excited to return,” he said. “I get to see the players I once played with and see things from a different perspective.”
He comes back after playing two years professionally in Puerto Rico. He will serve as assistant to head coach Steve Masiello.
“Anytime you can have a former player that has impacted this program in so many ways on and off the court,” Masiello said, “and represent the college the way Alvarado has is truly a great opportunity for us. We’re really lucky. We’re excited because he brings so many things away from the game to this program.”
With Manhattan, Alvarado scored 1,170 points; earned two All-MAAC honors; ranked sixth in school history with 363 assists; and 159 steals. During his senior year, he helped lead Manhattan to a 25-win season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Alvarado was a part of the great trio of seniors during the 2013-2014 season. George Beamon, Rhamel Brown and he led Manhattan to their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2004. They were compared to the class of 1975, 1993 and 2004 as they all clinched post-season berths.
Masiello even called that group of seniors the greatest senior class in Manhattan’s history after their trip to the tournament in 2014. The three seniors ranked among the highest in school history. They were all members of the 2010-2011 team where they finished 6-25. Three years later, they earned a post-season berth and almost upset defending national champion Louisville University.
Masiello said he is excited for what Alvarado will bring to the team with his new position on the coaching staff, noting that Alvarado is there for the players more behind the scenes.
“He’s a guy that gives instant credibility to process what guys are going through,” Masiello said. “He’s there for the guys on the days when it’s not easy, when guys are struggling and dealing with adversity.”
Calvin Crawford did not get a chance to play with Alvarado, but has seen and heard enough about him. He said that he used to watch Alvarado play during his time at Manhattan and got to know him when Alvarado would come back to watch practices and talk to the team on game days.
“When I first heard about it, I was beyond excited,” Crawford said. “As a former player, he knows exactly what we used to go through. He knows exactly what we struggled with or what we are good at. So he’s going to be like a player on the bench for us.”
Former teammate RaShawn Stores, who co-captained the team along with Alvarado, Brown and Beamon, said that players on the team remember Alvarado and will learn from him.
“I think it’s huge for us to have him back,” Stores said. “He was a big part of the team when he was here. Mike loved to win. He hated losing. When we lost, he took it to another level as one of our leaders. He hated losing and he brings that here.”
Alvarado, known for his tough-nosed style of play, said that one key thing he learned while playing both in college and professionally is discipline and he plans on helping the Manhattan with this.
“You need to have a crazy work ethnic to keep working on your game,” Alvarado said. “On the professional level, not everyone is on you like in college. So once you carry that over, it’s a different ball game.”
As the team prepares for the upcoming season and sets goals for another great season like last year, they will have a new outlook on playing with their leadership from Alvarado.
“Mike is a great voice in their ear to let them know that greater things are ahead and to embrace the process,” Masiello said. “This is part of developing greatness. This is part of developing who you are and not to get caught up in the moment.”