Cockburn powers Christ the King to CHSAA "AA" playoff victory
3/2/17 - 06:45 PM

News12Varsity.com

By: Elio Velez

Kofi Cockburn took advantage of the opportunity to be selected as Christ the King’s starting center in his first year on the varsity level.

The 6-11, 245-pound sophomore showed his ever improving skills inside the paint with 23 points as Christ the King secured a 73-63 boys basketball victory over St. Raymond in the second round of the CHSAA Class AA Intersectional city playoffs held Wednesday night at St. Francis Prep High School. 

“I had to hit the offensive glass. Stay on that and then do that on the defensive end,” Cockburn said. “We just got to do it on defense and just be physical.”

Cockburn’s teammate, all-first league senior guard Jose Alvarado, didn’t take too long to praise his teammate who helped Christ the King get to the quarterfinals on Sunday against Archbishop Stepinac at Fordham University starting at 2:30 p.m. 

“My big man was doing his thing out there. If it wasn’t for him I think we would be in trouble,” Alvarado said. “We know we was going to be in a dogfight and we told Kofi we are going to need him because they have nobody his size.”

Jaylen Davis had 16 points and Alvarado chipped in with 10 of his 13 points in the second half for Christ the King, who improved to 18-9 overall and are ranked fifth in New York City by News 12 Varsity. It was the third victory for the Royals over the Ravens, including winning the SNY Invitational title on January 26. 

Cockburn’s strong start to the game helped Christ the King stay ahead of the Ravens in a much anticipated matchup between two of the best point guards in the city in Alvarado and St. Ray’s senior Isaiah Washington. 

The Royals’ center scored 12 of his team’s initial 14 points and his mobility to move around the paint forced St. Ray’s to focus solely on scoring its points out on the perimeter. Cockburn showcase his instincts to follow up off an Alvarado miss with a forceful dunk to make it 21-16 Royals with 3:21 left in the first half. 

“He keeps getting better and better and better. Him making free throws, him making those little baseline jump shots, him blocking shots,” Royals coach Joe Arbitello said.  “Anybody who is watching him from the league tonight, they are not happy he’s coming back for three more years. I’m the only guy that’s happy.”

Arbitello credited the team’s defensive display, but felt it was important to alleviate the possible stress the Royals were having in their offensive execution. The Royals scored seven quick points after Davis hit a baseline jumper and Alvarado ended an acrobatic move to the basket by converting a three-point play as part of a 12-2 run to go up 41-29 early in the third quarter. 

The quick start would eventually prove to much for St. Raymond to overcome along with other factors that ended the season for the Bronx program at 13-13 overall. Darius Lee had 15 points and Nickolas Rivera added 11 points. 

Washington, who had a game-high 24 points, was saddened to have his final game occur despite becoming the Ravens all-time leading scorer on Wednesday night with 1,410 points to leap ahead of former star guard Darryl ‘Truck’ Bryant. The 6-1 all-league first team senior will play next year at the University of Minnesota. 

“I had a pretty good year at St. Ray’s and to be the top scorer in St. Ray’s is a big accomplishment but it would have been better to win a championship,” Washington said.

The Royals have established a strong foundation for the next few years but Arbitello is adamant his team has the ability to continue its playoff run as long as possible. Alvarado is a firm believer that Christ the King still has plenty to accomplish in the days and weeks ahead.  

“You’re not going to tell me that I don’t want to go home,” Alvarado said. “I want to go home at least with a ‘chip. That’s what my goal is.”

- See more at: http://www.news12varsity.com/cockburn-powers-christ-the-king-to-chsaa-aa-playoff-victory-1.1855008#sthash.1rcdupZm.8veGmFT8.dpuf

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Royals roll to a 73-52 win over Xaverian in BQ 1/4's
2/21/17 - 10:21 AM

By: Hsboxscorenyc.com

Christ the King opened the second half on a 9-0 run to pull away from Xaverian in the third quarter, coasting the rest of the way to a 73-52 win in the CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens Diocesan Quarterfinals at Archbishop Molloy on Monday. Xaverian had no answer for Kofi Cockburn, as the Royals' big man had his way in the paint, leading Christ the King into the CHSAA B/Q Semifinals on Wednesday, when they will take on Bishop Loughlin in Middle Village.

After trailing 18-13 at the end of the first, Xaverian pulled within a point at 20-19 on Lucas Warhaftig's fall away jumper in the lane. Christ the King answered with a 3-pointer by Jose Alvarado to make it 23-19, but Warhaftig scored again on a driving runner, trimming the margin to 23-21. After two free throws by Alvarado, Tyson Walker notched back-to-back steals, converting the first into a layup and feeding Cockburn for a fast break dunk on the other, giving Christ the King a 29-21 lead with 2:20 remaining in the half. The Clippers were able to regroup after a timeout, shaving a point off the deficit to trail 34-28 at the break.

Christ the King broke it open in the third, rattling off nine straight to open the second half and taking a 43-28 lead on a fast-break layup by Jaylen Davis. Zack Bruno stopped the bleeding for Xaverian with a 3-point play, but powerful back-to-back dunks by Cockburn gave the Royals a 47-31 lead with just under 5:00 to play in the quarter. After Bruno's drive made it 49-35, the Royals scored five straight on a 3-pointer by Davis and a steal and layup by Alvarado, making it 54-35 at the 2:45 mark. The lead swelled to 60-37 after back-to-back baskets by Davis and a bucket from Adam Elgammel, and Christ the King took a 60-39 lead into the fourth.

With their third meeting against Loughlin 48 hours away, the Royals rested most of their starters in the fourth, but still coasted to the 73-52 win. 

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Alumni Update: Former CK star's determination leads to dominant hoops career
2/21/17 - 10:11 AM

Former Royal and current Iona Gael Jon Severe has had a stellar four years on the college hardwood

TimesLedger.com

By: Laura Amato

He considers himself a student. 

Jon Severe is always learning, always determined to get better and overcome the next obstacle. It’s a trait that served the former Christ the King star well in the classroom – graduating from Fordham University in three years – and on the basketball court. 

Severe, in the midst of his final season of eligibility, has settled into a leadership role at Iona College this year, but he’s still learning. In fact, he’s learned more about himself this year than ever before. 

“I’ve just tried to get smarter on the court,” Severe said. “Before I was kind of fresh to the game and I’m always trying to learn something new. I’ve learned to trust my body and started really doing the right things on and off the court.”

Severe’s basketball education began in Middle Village, leading the Royals to a Federation title as a senior. He was also named a Parade All-American and New York’s Mr. Basketball, the state’s highest honor. He wrapped up his career with over 1,100 points. 

“Christ the King was always a great program and they always find a way to win,” Severe said. “There’s just a ton of talent in that team. It really helped shape me as a player.”

Severe learned even more at the college level – fine-tuning his game and his offensive presence to become one of the most dominant scorers in Fordham history. He set the Rams’ freshman scoring record with a whopping 536 points and, as a junior last season, racked up 10 games with double-digit points. 

Severe credits his determination to learn more about the game for helping him on the court. He’s worked on his shooting technique for as long as he can remember, but as far as Severe is concerned, there’s always room for improvement.

“I think I’ve improved my shot selection,” he said. “It’s easier to tell what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot now. I’m still trying to be a bit more defensive-minded as a guard though, just trying to get better over all.”

Severe graduated from Fordham in three years with a degree in communications, but he still wanted a brand-new challenge and it found it – at Iona. 

He’s had to work to find a place in the Gaels’ starting lineup, but Severe believes he’s hit his stride over the last few weeks. His 11.8 points per game are second on the team in scoring and Severe saw action in all of the team’s first 25 games. 

He’s still learning, but he’s also having some fun. 

“I thought the team was really good for my style of play. I’ve had fun playing here,” Severe said. “It’s a score-first program and that’s my kind of mentality.”

Severe has been around the basketball block over the last decade or so and, now that he’s at Iona, he’s doing his best to impart a few of those lessons on to his teammates. The student, in this case, has become the teacher. 

“I’ve been in just about every situation on a basketball court,” Severe said. “So I try to help the freshman out and help out teammates who haven’t seen certain things before. I kind of see that as my role.”

Severe has one more thing he’d like to learn at Iona – how to win a championship. The Gales are the favorites to repeat as Metro Athletic champions and Severe is determined for one final basketball-test on the national stage. 

And he’s ready to work for it.

“I’ve just been trying to come to practice every day and play hard,” Sever said. “That’s always been my mentality. I want to be consistent, come out and take over.”

 

Posted 12:00 am, February 21, 2017

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CHSAA Playoff Schedules
2/20/17 - 06:46 PM

The post season has begun, and the Royals will begin their hunt for city championships on the freshmen, JV, and Varsity divisions.

Good Luck to the Royals

Varsity Intersectional City Playoffs

1/4 Finals

NY#2 Archbishop Stepinac vs. BQ#3 Christ the King

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

@ Fordham University, 2:30pm

JV Intersectional Playoffs

City Championship

BQ#1 Bishop Loughlin vs. BQ#2 Christ the King

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

@ Archbishop Molloy HS, 7:00pm

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Jose Alvarado is 1st Team All-League; Cockburn, Walker also honored
2/20/17 - 11:35 AM

Jose Alvarado earned first team all-league this season. Alvarado led CK in scoring at 18ppg.

Congratulations to Jose Alvarado for earning 1st Team All-League in the CHSAA "AA" Division.

This is the third consecutive season that Alvarado has been named to one of the CHSAA's All-League teams. He earned the MVP last season, and was on the third team as a freshmen.

Congratulations also to Junior Guard Tyson Walker and Sophomore Center Kofi Cockburn. Both Walker and Cockburn were named to the All-League 3rd team.

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Hot shooting powers Christ the King over St. Ray's
2/13/17 - 07:20 AM

Tyson Walker finishes with 20 points to help the Royals beat St. Raymond's for the second time this season

News12Varsity.com

By: Elio Velez

Christ the King sophomore guard Tyson Walker was almost left speechless after his team displayed arguably its best shooting performance of the season on Sunday afternoon. 

The Royals were firing on all cylinders by connecting on a season high 17 made three-point baskets in an 83-68-road victory over St. Raymond in a CHSAA Class AA boys basketball game held in the Bronx. 

“I don’t know what to say. They was all going in,” Walker said. “I honestly don’t know what to say.”

Jose Alvarado lead with 25 points and connected on six 3-pointers as Christ the King improved to 16-7 overall and is ranked No. 9 in the News 12 Varsity Tri-State Top 20 poll. Walker had 20 points along with Jaylen Davis added 16 points for the Royals, who lead as much as 27 points in the second half against the Ravens on their Senior Night. 

Things were going so well that Alvarado did a small dance after landing on the Royals sideline on a three-point shot that went in the third quarter. 

“Yeah man it just felt good. The shots were falling. I had my James Harden on,” Alvarado jokingly said. 

The Royals predicated their strong shooting night on the moving the basketball and finding the open man. Those attributes were evident in the opening minutes when the Georgia Tech bound Alvarado hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Davis followed with another trifecta to give the visitors an early 13-2 advantage. 

St. Ray’s had committed two defenders whenever 6-11 sophomore center Kofi Cockburn, who had earned MVP honors in the Royals 67-66 SNY Invitational title win over the Ravens on January 27. But the tactic allowed the opposing shooters to continue its hot shooting on the perimeter. 

The Ravens had made eight points in a row until Alvarado smiled down court following a 25-foot three-point basket and Jared Harrison’s Hunte’s offensive put back put CK on a 14-0 run to lead 38-19 late in the first half. 

It was going so good for the visitors that Phillps Joseph hit a fall-away buzzer-beating three-pointer at the halftime buzzer and connected on the team’s final trifecta with no time left in the third quarter for a 68-45 lead over the Ravens.

“We had a lot of kids who shot well today. I liked the sharing of the ball and everybody was able to get a touch and score,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. 

Omar Silverio was the high scorer for No. 16 ranked St. Raymond (13-11) with 30 points and University of Minnesota commit Isaiah Washington added 22 points in his final regular season home game. Nick Rivera added 12 points as the Ravens move on to the Archdiocesan playoffs starting Sunday with the quarterfinals being held at the Ravens Nest. 

“From tipoff, we weren’t ready to compete on a high level with a good team. Especially on Senior Day, Lopez said. “I thought we would have been more prepared and excited having to play Christ the King here on our Senior Day. I wasn’t too pleased with that defensively at the beginning of the game.”

A young team also worked harder to improve its effectiveness in other areas according to Alvarado during a practice week following an 88-72 loss to Bishop Loughlin on Super Bowl Sunday. They have responded to challenges on the court in the last month and half and will have to do so again Tuesday night in the regular season finale at home against Archbishop Molloy.

“This is really good. It shows maturity and it was a tough loss but I think this is a great win,” Alvarado said. “We just got to take this to Senior Night, last home game, regular season. We’re going to keep on trying to stay focused and get the city’s [title].”

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Games Rescheduled
2/9/17 - 09:31 PM

Due to inclement weather, Fridays Men's tripleheader vs Molloy at Christ the King has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 14th.

The freshmen game will be at 4:00, JV @ 5:45, and Varsity 7:30.

Come out and support the Royals!!!

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Christ the King wins SNY Invitational
1/29/17 - 08:25 AM

CK celebrates its win over St. Raymonds in the SNY Invitational

News12Varsity.com

By: Elio Velez

Christ the King sophomore Kofi Cockburn clearly heard the packed crowd ring in his ears after missing the first of two free throws late in the fourth quarter  

Cockburn didn’t wither from the pressure and went on to make the clutch free throw with 18.9 remaining to help secure Christ the King’s 67-66 thrilling win over St. Raymond in the SNY Invitational championship game on Saturday night at City College. 

“Tyson came up to me and encouraged me a little bit.  Told me to my routine and everything and follow through,” Cockburn said. “I just went to the line confident and helped me team and they got me.”

The 6-9 center earned Most Valuable Player honors with 20 points and 16 rebounds and Christ the King capped off a banner weekend to win its first SNY title over their CHSAA Class AA division rivals. 

“It was good that we came back to win it,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. “It means a lot. It means a lot to our program.”

They also displayed an ability to rebound from adversity after trailing as much as ten points midway through the third quarter. Jose Alvarado scored a game-high 21 points as the young Royals continued its recent strong form of late with their sixth consecutive victory. 

Christ the King improved to 14-6 overall and is ranked No. 13 in the News 12 Varsity Tri-State Top 20 poll.  

“We’ve grown up a lot. After that loss against [Bishop] Loughlin [66-62 in overtime on January 15], we’ve grown up from then,” Cockburn said. “Every practice has been competitive. We’re going hard every time. I think we’re playing great.”

The anticipated all-catholic league matchup had been set up after St. Ray’s pulled off a one-point win over perennial power St. Anthony on Friday night. Christ the King held off a late rally by Mount Vernon to earn a 60-55 victory. 

St. Ray’s held a tenuous 33-31 lead going into the first half yet looked poised and hungry to take command early in the third quarter.

Isaiah Washington energized the crowd with two consecutive layups and Maykel Valera, who scored 17 points, followed up with an put back to give the Ravens its largest advantage at 44-34 with 4:39 left in the third quarter. 

The Royals would respond with a run of its own by outscoring their opponents 13-3 to cut the deficit to 47-46 at the end of the third quarter. Alvarado responded from a poor shooting night and from foul trouble as the Georgia Tech bound guard kept his team within striking distance.

I’m very excited for my team and my teammates are stepping up,” Alvarado said. “My teammates kept my head up and said to come out strong. They won it yesterday and they said this is your game now.”

Jaylen Davis (13 points) used a pump fake to hit a 15-foot jumper with 1:16 remaining in regulation to put the Royals up by two points. Darius Lee banked a shot off the backboard to help the Ravens tie the game at 66-all with 22.2 seconds. 

Lee missed a free throw on the three-point play attempt and Cockburn was quickly fouled grabbing the rebound. The Christ the King center converted one of two free throws and his teammates made a last defensive stand to force Lee into missing a tough runner in the lane as time ran out. 

Omar Silverio had 19 points and Valera added 17 points as St. Ray’s, who are ranked No. 15 in the Tri-State by News 12 Varsity, fell to 11-8 this season. Ravens coach Jorge Lope said his team took a lot out of the two games and it feels it will benefit them down the road in a league rematch on February 12 in the Bronx.   

“I thought we played hard. We battled.  I think we made a couple of mistakes down the stretch,” Lopez said. “ It was tough for us to hold on to a ten-point lead. I got to give credit to Christ the King. They battled back to cut into that lead. This will help us going into playoffs.”

- See more at: http://www.news12varsity.com/christ-the-king-wins-sny-invitational-title-1.1846625#sthash.1HVb54Eq.dpuf

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CK beats Mt. Vernon, Advances to SNY Final for second straight year
1/28/17 - 08:10 AM

C Kofi Cockburn finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 2 block shots in the SNY Semi-Final vs. Mt. Vernon

News12Varsity.com

By: Elio Velez

Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello could not have been more pleased to see the best of both worlds from his team on Friday night. 

The Royals displayed a nice blend of the present and future in a 60-55 victory over Mount Vernon in the nightcap of the SNY Invitational held in front of a packed City College crowd in Manhattan. 

Tyson Walker, a junior guard, scored a game-high 17 points with 7 assists as Christ the King plays in an all-CHSAA matchup against St. Raymond for the title at 4 p.m. Jaylen Davis added 11 points along with Kofi Cockburn scoring 10 points with 9 rebounds as the Royals make its second SNY final appearance after losing to Cardozo in the 2016 final. 

“I told these guys that in November and December, January we will struggle. We just got to continue getting better and better,” Arbitello said. “I felt like that unit on the floor that got us the lead, that’s next year’s team. So today I’m feeling happy in two ways; One that we won and happy that next year’s team is coming back.” 

The young Royals picked up the slack in all facets with Georgia Tech bound guard Jose Alvarado struggling with foul trouble and ending with just 8 points. The three sophomores and two juniors that Arbitello sent to the floor were able to solidly matchup against a more experienced Mount Vernon team. 

Christ the King earned its fifth straight victory to improve to 13-6 overall and is ranked No. 13 in the News 12 Varsity Tri-State Top 20 poll.  Noah Morgan scored 15 points for Mount Vernon, who will face St. Anthony in the SNY consolation game at 2 p.m. on Saturday

The Knights had jumped out to a 22-13 early in the second quarter and Alvarado had to go to the bench with his third foul. Yet the Royals are starting to progress this season as a team that is beginning to overcome adverse situations.

Phillips Joseph, a sophomore guard came off the bench to hit a three-pointer to give the Royals its first lead with 1:40 left in the first half. Walker hit a buzzer beating three-pointer for Christ the King to take a 35-26 advantage going into the locker room. 

The Royals had finished the first half on a 12-0 run and had outscored its opponents 22-4 in the second quarter. The 6-11 Cockburn also played a vital role at the end of the second half and also eventually in key minutes inside the paint down the stretch.

“Everyone stepped up and showed that we could compete and we can play and do a little bit of everything,” Walker said. 

Morgan’s return to the court late in the fourth quarter ignited Mount Vernon to score nine unanswered points in just 30 seconds as Eric Monroe’s steal and layup cut the Royals lead to 57-53 with 1:29 left in regulation. 

But the Knights would ultimately not overcome it’s struggles from the perimeter and was without key scorer Morgan, who picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter, for most of the second half.  Alvarado hit two clutch free throws with seven seconds left to put the game out of reach. 

“I’m not going to yell at them in the locker room. They wanted this badly,” Mount Vernon coach Bob Cimmino said. “It old them to assess what went on and think about what we can do to get better.”

Arbitello knows his team has to be prepared from the tipoff against Minnesota bound point guard Isaiah Washington and St. Ray’s. 

“I’m extremely happy that it’s Christ the King and St. Ray’s in the finals,” Arbitello said. “It proves something that the catholic school league is a pretty good league.”

- See more at: http://www.news12varsity.com/brooklyn-bronx/christ-the-king-clinches-berth-to-sny-final-1.1846196#sthash.ezS3A3bW.dpuf

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Alvarado/CK run Hayes out of the building
1/21/17 - 08:27 AM

PG Jose Alvarado and C Kofi Cockburn help lead CK to a 20 point victory over Cardinal Hayes on Friday Night

NYCHoops.net

By: Maurice Wingate

MIDDLE VILLAGE, NY – Sometimes it’s just one of those days when the basketball rim is the size of the Atlantic Ocean and everything you throw up goes in. Friday was that day for Jose Alvarado ‘17 when Christ the King hosted Cardinal Hayes. Netting 20 points in the first half alone, the Royals senior point guard led CK to an impressive 75 -63 win.

“I think I got my swagger back,” sang Alvarado with a smile. “I don’t know, I just felt it,” he added.

Royals head coach Joe Arbitello concurred saying, “[Alvarado] was efficient. He only took 16 shots today.”

Alvarado admitted that the season has been rollercoaster as he leads a very inexperienced 10 - 6 team. “We got young sophomores so it’s gonna be ups and downs. That’s how we grow. I just tell them to keep their heads up.”

Christ the King made its move early in the game as 6’3” Jaylen Davis ‘19 and 6’5” Jared Harrison-Hunte ‘19 got the ball rolling. A pull-up by Alvarado finished off a 9 – 2 run to start the warm-up quarter. Cardinals would not find the bottom of the net again until there was only 3:13 left in the quarter and trailed by seven to begin the second quarter.

Thing went from bad to worse for the Cardinals as Alvarado began to heat up. Back-to-back-to-back three-pointers interspersed with two point counters by Hayes elevated the Royals lead to 10 points midway through the second quarter. 

In the latter part of the half, 6’10” Kofi Cockburn ‘19 began to dominate the paint for CK and drew attention away from Alvarado. A bucket by the big man along with offense for Davis resulted in a 10 – 0 run that put the Queens County Catholic school on the verge of going up by twenty points with 2:05 remaining in the half.

Late offense by 6’2” Tyrese Williams ‘18 and 6’3” Terry Dawkins ‘18 reduced Cardinal Hayes’s deficit to 37 – 24 at the midway point.

Williams knocked down a three- ball to begin the second half and Hayes was now only down by ten-points but a trey from Alvarado ignited another 7 – 0 from the Royals. 5’10” Jontai Williams ‘18 tried to push back as did Dawkins but each time the Cardinals made inroads, the Royals had an answer. Even when Alvarado wasn’t scoring, he was running the show and facilitating as a good point guard should.

“He’s absolutely killing us,” said assistant coach Tim Phelps to Head Coach Joe Lodsregarding Alvarado who put his best defenders on the senior. 

Ahead by 14 points at the top of the fourth quarter, the Royals extended its advantage to 21 point with 2:12 left to play. Coach Arbitello subbed out his starters and coasted to the win.

Christ the King was fired up to play today,” said Coach Lods. “Unfortunately, we weren’t.” Lods said that he believes his team was paralyzed by how well Alvarado was playing and did execute well. “It was paralyses by over analysis,” said Lods, equating the Cardinals play to that of a deer stuck in head lights.

“Alvarado certainly separated himself from us today and showed why he’s headed to Georgia Tech and we’re headed to the bus right now,” said Lods.

Alvarado finished with 32 points which included five trifectas. Cockburn added 17 points. T. Williams was high man for Cardinal Hayes with 18 points with Dawkins contributing 16 points. Hayes point guard Joe Toussaint '19 was limited to a deuce.

https://nychoops.rivals.com/news/alvarado-ck-run-hayes-out-the-building

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Power, passion and personality drive Arizona Wildcats freshmen Rawle Alkins
1/15/17 - 09:37 AM

www.tucson.com

By: Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star

Rawle Alkins’ exterior exudes toughness.

The Arizona Wildcats freshman wing has a strong 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame. He’s a powerful, fearless driver to the basket. A five-star talent bred in New York and its competitive Catholic league.

Sometimes all that gets him into trouble.

Not the street kind of trouble, though.

Alkins, who has become the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer halfway through his first college season, grew up comfortably in the working-class Canarsie neighborhood of southeast Brooklyn.

There were problems and temptations, but no worse than many comparable suburban areas around the country.

“I wouldn’t consider it bad,” Alkins said. “If people know you, they don’t really mess with you so from my point of view it wasn’t bad. Everyone surprisingly is looking out for you.”

The issues that Alkins’ talent and size created came elsewhere. Like when he moved to footbal- mad Florida in eighth grade, people saw that natural strength and athleticism and tried to put a helmet on him.

Didn’t work.

“Everyone wanted me to play football,” Alkins said. “No pee-wee. Never played it, ever. Just wasn’t interesting to me. Basketball is my favorite.”

Then there was the time Alkins enrolled at Queens’ Christ the King High School, where coach Joe Arbitello was initially impressed with that physique and talent — until they hit the weight room together.

“Truth of the matter was he couldn’t even do a pushup,” Arbitello said. “I gave him a hard time, saying, ‘You can’t even do a pushup?’ It’s not until he got to Arizona that he really started building up some muscle.”

But the rest of New York’s Catholic High School Basketball Association didn’t know that. They just saw talent, power and athleticism, too, really from Alkins’ freshman year on.

“He was so good, and when he got here we had the best team,” Arbitello said. “But he was OK with coming off the bench as a freshman. He scored 17 in the state championship to win it and after that point, he was the guy. We won three city titles with him and two state championships.”

Eventually that became a problem. During Alkins’ third season at Christ the King, it surfaced that — because he was so physically gifted at a young age — he had been invited to the Palm Beach Central varsity team as an eighth-grader.

Alkins had played only eight games for Central before becoming academically ineligible, according to the New York Daily News, and moved back to New York. But that counted as a “season” of high school eligibility, meaning he might not be allowed to play more than three at Christ the King.

Arbitello tried to appeal the Catholic High School Athletic Association to allow Alkins to play as a senior in 2014-15, but said he wasn’t going to get an answer until that September.

Alkins wondered if he was being singled out.

“I have a feeling if I wasn’t the type of player I am today, where I’m getting all this national attention, if I wasn’t that good, they’d let me play and wouldn’t care,” Alkins told the New York Daily News as a junior. “But the fact that I’m talented is hurting me.”

Eventually, Arbitello advised Alkins to leave even before a ruling came down. So the best player in New York City sought a new home for his senior year, or what would be known as his fifth season in basketball terms.

“The truth of the matter is we play in the best league in the country, we won three city championships with Rawle, and somebody brought up the question of his eligibility,” Arbitello said. “We could have waited to see if they made him eligible or not but … I just said to him and his mother it’s unfair to a kid to start over in another school in September, so I told him and his parents they should get him enrolled somewhere else.”

Alkins headed to play as a fifth-year senior at Word of God Academy in Raleigh, N.C., the city that shares a pronunciation with Alkins’ first name but little else. Alkins said he enjoyed being in such a basketball-crazy area, taking unofficial visits to North Carolina and North Carolina State, but found the academic side wasn’t working out.

Having left Christ the King as a junior who still needed work to get eligible for college, Alkins said he struggled in Raleigh. He left the Word of God team just before its final regular-season tournament in order to focus on academics.

“If it was up to me, I would have spent my senior year at Christ the King, but I had to look for a prep school,” Alkins said. “I wouldn’t say it was a good year because I didn’t finish the year out. I was focusing on college and on trying to qualify for college, studying for SATs.”

The diversion from basketball dealt Alkins a publicity hit. Because he was ruled a fifth-year senior, that meant he wasn’t eligible for a possible selection in the McDonald’s All-Star Game, while he also didn’t play in the Jordan Brand Classic. He didn’t resurface again until he had 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Capital Classic at Washington, D.C., in late April.

Of course, none of that ever really fooled college basketball recruiters. Provided he could get eligible — and Alkins said he knew he would by the spring — he was still being courted by all the usual elite powers including North Carolina, North Carolina State, Louisville, Kentucky and St. John’s.

Alkins did not list Arizona among his final top-10 choices entering his season at Word of God.

The Wildcats made a late push, however, and managed to secure him for an official recruiting visit last Jan. 28.

Initially, that looked like a bad idea. Alkins was in the stands that evening when Arizona broke its 49-game homecourt streak with a loss to Oregon, a game so tense that a frustrated UA coach Sean Miller went verbally after one of his favorite players, Kaleb Tarczewski.

Yet Alkins committed to UA five weeks later on ESPNU, saying he actually was impressed with how upset the Wildcats were after the loss, sensing obvious passion and intensity among players and fans alike.

“The reason why I loved Arizona so much is simple: Winning is the only option there,” Alkins wrote in his USA Today blog, shortly after making the announcement. “I saw them lose to Oregon and it was literally like the end of the world there. I love that and I want to always be associated with winners.”

While visiting, Alkins also watched the Wildcats practice, envisioning how his style could fit into Miller’s system, and figured it could work.

It wasn’t until he arrived back in Tucson in June that he realized what it would take to fit in.

“In practice the first day, I didn’t know what I was doing,” Alkins said. “It felt so uncomfortable, and it felt like I didn’t know how to play basketball anymore. … When I was watching practice (as a recruiting target) I wasn’t focusing on what (Miller) was saying, I was just focusing on what they were doing, seeing if it fits my play style. I didn’t hear, like, ‘Whip the screen’ or ‘Chase the screen,’ that type of stuff, but now I’m starting to learn what he means by it.”

This is where you’d think Alkins could have run into trouble again. A five-star talent who looks physically capable, yet was struggling to adjust and, before the UA’s roster began falling apart this season, held no guarantee of extended playing time.

Alkins could have taken a me-first approach, but that wasn’t the precedent Arbitello found at Christ the King.

“Completely the opposite,” Arbitello said. “I never heard him curse. His mother raised him the right way. Nobody around him, or his mother, ever said one word about him getting enough shots. That guy did everything, and he defended. He played great defense.”

That trend has continued at Arizona.

“Rawle’s been as consistent of a freshman as we’ve ever had,” Miller said. “It starts off the court by how he approaches school, how he approaches being on time, what he’s like when he doesn’t play well, what he’s like in the early-season workouts.”

There are still obstacles to clear, of course. Having already learned to modify his power drives to suit college officiating earlier in the season, when he picked up a slew of offensive charges, Alkins found his rebounding ascent cut off on Jan. 7 when Colorado blocked him out and he picked up only two boards.

Shooting can come and go, too. Alkins is shooting 43 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range, with his midrange and 3-point shooting getting the most work lately.

Alkins went just 2 for 8 against ASU on Thursday, but he pulled down six rebounds, grabbed two steals and dished four assists — including a skillfully timed alley-oop pass in the second half to Kobi Simmons, which gave the UA a commanding 78-58 lead with 5:20 to go.

“Rawle didn’t score as much tonight, which was kind of surprising, but he did some good things,” Miller said after the ASU game. “Some of his passes were great passes. … We talked for a while after the game that once in a while you’re not going to have a big night scoring, but you can do other things. He’s a winner. He really is.”

That patience may apply to the long run, too. Alkins is projected to go No. 40 in the 2018 NBA Draft in Draft Express’ latest mock draft, suggesting he’ll leave the UA after his sophomore season. Of course, there has been speculation he won’t even wait that long.

But Alkins says he’s unsure.

“I have no plan,” Alkins said. “I’m living day by day. I take everything day by day.”

Off the court, Alkins is making adjustments, too. Upon arriving in June, that big, intimidating freshman found himself nearly melting in the Tucson summer heat. He grew to like uniquely Tucson fare such as BK Tacos and Eegee’s.

He also gradually accepted how, even when the weather is good, the sidewalks are typically empty.

“In New York City, you see people outside walking everywhere,” Alkins said. “Out here, it’s like you’re crazy if you’re walking. But that’s pretty much it. Everything else is pretty much like home.”

Especially the basketball. Alkins says he’s played the game constantly since he was 5 years old, and in that regard, his life hasn’t changed at Arizona.

He just plays.

That’s good news for the Wildcats.

“He’s the same, he almost has a gift where even his expression during the game is even-keeled and it’s fueled by his love of the game,” Miller said. “I haven’t been around a player who loves it more than him. He really wants to be great and he puts the work in, and he’s really in a way been a pleasant surprise. With how easy he is to deal with, he’s been really fun to have as part of the team.”

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Georgia Tech-Bound Jose Alvarado Playing to Honor His Late Grandmother
1/15/17 - 09:35 AM

Zagsblog.com

By MIKE McCURRY

NEW YORK — Diana Martinez will not soon be forgotten, mainly because her grandson would never let that happen.

The tokens of remembrance are everywhere. There are the three tattoos on the left side of his body, including an image of Diana’s face right over his heart; the pink socks to promote cancer awareness donned on game days; the #Everything4Her and #RestEasyMyLove hashtags incorporated in every one of his social media posts.

On November 21st, stomach cancer claimed the life of Diana at just 54 years old. The Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn lost a valued community member. Odilia Martinez lost her beloved mother.

Jose Alvarado, arguably the best point guard currently on the New York City high school circuit, lost his world.

“Every time I go on the court, it’s for her,” he said. “Every time I work out, it’s for her.”

Alvarado is the unequivocal leader of a Christ the King (NY) program that has won five of the last seven CHSAA Class AA city championships. The reigning New York City Catholic High School Player of the Year is committed to play for Josh Pastner at Georgia Tech next fall.

As impressive as Alvarado’s proclivity to fill up the box score is (he puts up 19.4 points, 4.1 assists, 5.4 boards, and 4.6 steals per night), the 6-foot, 155-pound senior is lauded just as frequently for his intangibles—his relentlessness, leadership, and an insatiable will to win.

“A college coach told me [Sunday] that he’s on the floor more than any other player he’s ever seen,” said Christ the King head coach Joe Arbitello.

Alvarado attributes that to his grandmother.

“My Grandma gave me the heart that I got,” he said. “I got that killer instinct—that’s because of her. She wasn’t afraid of nothing.”

***

A single mother of two girls, Diana always wanted a boy. It’s no wonder she was so persistent to spend quality time with Jose.

Odilia was 17-years-old and still living in Brooklyn when she conceived her first-born. Upon going back to work at the bank, and with Jose Sr. also grinding to support the family, Jose was placed in daycare on Roebling Street.

Diana inhabited the same building.

If Diana was not at the nutrition company, where she toiled as a receptionist, she was with Jose, holding the fort down until Odilia got off her shift.

Be it assisting with homework, dishing out sage life lessons, or simply kicking it, it was those late afternoons (often seeping into dinnertime) in which the perpetual bond between grandmother and grandson was formed.

“She was the second mom,” recalled Odilia. “Whenever I couldn’t be there, she kept him.”

On November 9th, the Alvarado family’s life changed forever.

Back in September, Jose had verbally committed to Georgia Tech, spurning local schools in Seton Hall and Rutgers (which composed his Top-3) as well as established programs like Indiana, Xavier, and Miami.

He signed his written agreement with the Yellow Jackets on November 9th, the same day Odilia was informed by the doctors that Diana had two weeks left to live.

Jose knew his grandmother was ill—she was first diagnosed with cancer in 2012. But he was unprepared for the sight of oxygen tanks attached to Diana when he called her via FaceTime to celebrate his pledge to the ACC.

The next day, the Alvarado family trekked to the Pennsylvania-based hospital, unwilling to grasp that the end was near.

Of the ensuing eleven nights that Diana continued to battle like hell, Jose, sometimes accompanied by nine family members all jam-packed in a tiny room, spent nearly every evening bedside, only returning to Queens for mandatory school obligations.

“That was my everything,” Jose said. “That’s the reason why I started taking [basketball] seriously, because of her. Now she’s watching over me.”

***

Arbitello knows talent when he sees it, having guided 14 players to the Division-1 ranks in eight-plus seasons as the Royals’ head coach.

So when he could not divert his eyes away from a big, bushy-haired seventh grader on Court 2 at his own basketball camp, Arbitello inquired, ‘Who is that kid?’

“He was the most aggressive kid that I’ve ever seen,” said Arbitello on his initial impressions of Alvarado. “I wasn’t even sure if he was a point guard or not, but I knew he was a basketball player and he was somebody that I would want to coach because he’s so tough.”

At the time, Alvarado had only been on the hardwood for a couple of years. He grew up as a shortstop—not a floor general—whose first exposure to an organized team did not come until fifth grade at The Pomonok School & STAR Academy, when the family relocated to Queens.

As Arbitello puts his gaudy 199-53 (.790 winning percentage) record on the line in search of a milestone victory on Sunday against Bishop Loughlin, he benefits from having the ideal extension of himself on the floor in Alvarado.

“Him and [former CtK star and current Arizona freshman guard Rawle Alkins]—their willingness to win is something that guys today don’t have,” Arbitello said. “That willingness to win makes Jose become an absolute nightmare on the basketball court.”

Due to the personnel attrition that Christ the King faced after last year with the graduation of Tyrone CohenJared RiversDavid ColeRonald Jefferson, and Tracy Cleckley, it was pivotal for Alvarado to take one last major step forward in the leadership department. Mission accomplished.

“What Jose tries to tell these guys is we’ve been the dominant team in the CHSAA for the last ten years,” said Arbitello, whose starting lineup consists of three sophomores and a junior in addition to Alvarado. “We’ve won five city championships—all these people are trying to get one, and they’re coming after us every game. That’s what Jose’s trying to explain to these sophomores, and I think that’s the biggest help that he’s been to them.”

Georgia Tech wasn’t even on Alvarado’s radar on April 8th, four days prior to his 18th birthday, when the program scooped up Pastner, who somehow fled from Memphis in one piece.

Nearly five months later, Pastner completed the recruiting heist, nabbing Alvarado as his first recruit on the job.

Pastner jumped on Alvarado in May after seeing him for the first time during a Nike EYBL spring event, riveted by the point guard’s toughness, winning plays, and speed.

The signature moment, if you will, occurred during the last game of a July recruiting period in Las Vegas.

While Alvarado was giving it his all, per usual, many of his NY RENS’ teammates came out of the gates sluggish for a morning tipoff. At halftime, Jose informed them as much.

“He laid into his teammates, because he was playing so hard because it mattered so much to him,” Pastner remembers. “He wanted to win so bad. That was big time.”

Pastner knew he needed Alvarado. But how could he get through that Jose needed him?

The sales pitch had to exceed the lure of the ACC, the city of Atlanta, and the academics.

“I just think I was honest with him,” Pastner said. “I told him the truth all along the way, and I think he appreciated that.”

Pastner’s candor and straightforwardness indeed won over Alvarado, who is the first to admit he does not trust easily.

It was refreshing to hear his prospective coach lay out his perceived strengths and weaknesses—of the program, Jose, and even Pastner himself—as well as divulging exactly what other players he was simultaneously recruiting.

Alvarado will be the first player from New York City to play for Pastner directly out of high school, which could spark a trend for the former assistant under Lute Olson and John Calipari.

“We need to recruit the Northeast because one, the ACC stretches up-and-down the East Coast and two, Georgia Tech’s a strong name up and down the East Coast—especially with some of the great players that have played here from the Northeast,” Pastner said.

That’s in reference to Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury, who paved the NYC-to-ATL road for Alvarado but did not factor into his decision.

“They did get in contact with me,” said Jose. They said ‘Georgia Tech is where it’s at. You want to be the best? Go there.’ It’s a point guard program.”

And Pastner is a point guard coach of sorts. He played with Mike Bibby at Arizona and coached Jerryd Bayless at U of A coupled with Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans at Memphis.

***

What more could a high school player already so feted want to accomplish before leveling up to the collegiate stage?

After all, just within the last few weeks, Alvarado posted a quadruple-double (18 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals) and joined the Royals’ exclusive 1,000-point club.

For starters, he wants to get “the city” and “the state,” alluding to the CHSAA playoffs and the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions.

Alvarado also yearns to make his jump shot “automatic,” as he puts it, and for his left hand to be just like his right in terms of having the ball on a string.

If that come across as too stubborn and unceasing, deal with it.

Jose is his grandmother’s grandson, through and through.

“Very persistent,” said Odilia of the similarities between Diana and Jose. “It’s got to be their way. It was either her way or no way, and normally that’s how he is.”

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Christ the King gets needed win over Wings Academy
1/9/17 - 07:21 AM

Sophomore Jaylen Davis had a big game for the Royals with 17 points in CK's victory over Wings Academy

MSGVarsity.com

by Elio Velez on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 12:11 AM — @eliovelez

Christ the King has some fresh new faces on this year’s roster that has needed some time to acclimate to the rigors of the CHSAA Class AA division. 

But Royals coach Joe Arbitello couldn’t have been more pleased with some of the players that took an opportunity to shine on the court on Sunday night. 

Jaylen Davis was one of those candidates on Sunday afternoon as the sophomore along with senior guard Jose Alvarado each scored 17 points to help Christ the King earn a 61-53 victory over Wings Academy in the nightcap of the third annual Apparel Challenge held in Middle Village.   

Davis knocked down three 3-pointers and also made an impact with 7 rebounds as the Royals slowly climb back from an early double-digit first half deficit. 

“This was my biggest opportunity to play and I definitely wanted to prove myself and God just blessed me with my confidence,” Davis said. 

The experienced hand came from Alvarado down to stretch with two clutch steals late in the fourth quarter and had seven consecutive points to secure Christ the King a much needed bounce back win after falling on the road Friday night at Archbishop Molloy. 

The Georgia Tech commit also scored his 1,000th career point on a layup early in the first quarter. Christ the King improved to 8-4 overall and are ranked No.  7 in the News 12 Varsity New York City Top Ten Rankings.

Arbitello also credited sophomore Adam El Gammel for providing a presence inside the paint along with the play of center Kofi Cockburn that would eventually wore Wings Academy down in the second half.  Christ the King

“It’s a building block. We said we needed to get better and better and every day someone will step up and learn a little more,” Arbitello said. “Guys are starting to realize what it takes to win a game.”

Christ the King had its own early shooting woes to start the first half but could also not contain the hot shooting exploits of Wings forward Jose Perez. The visitors jumped out quickly on top as Perez scored the first 15 of his team’s 19 points going into the second quarter. 

Brian Mitchell’s jumper in the lane gave Wings its biggest lead at 21-11 and the Royals urgently needed spark. Davis made an impact by quickly lighting up the scoreboard with by knocking down three consecutive 3-point baskets that surged his team to take its first lead with 14.1 seconds left in the second quarter. 

The inspiration came from a familiar face in the crowd as Jaylen Davis turned to former St. Dominic star and brother Roland Davis. Jaylen also has followed the family footsteps at Christ the King where older brother Larry Davis had starred and eventually went to Loyola Marymount University.

“I came out and missed my first two or 3 shots and I looked at my brother and my brother was like ‘your good’, ‘your good’,” Jaylen Davis said. After that I just hit one and everything felt good.”

Wings did make one last push early in the fourth quarter. Perez, who finished with a game-high 29 points on 11 of 21 attempts from the field, scored eight consecutive points and Boubacar Kamissoko hit a tough runner in the lane with 2:47 remaining to tie the game at 50-all. 

Cockburn would tear down the rim with a slam-dunk for Christ the King to regain the lead. Alvarado had a steal and converted a three-point play to add to the lead and the senior added to the lead with 1:13 left on a three-pointer at the top of the key for a 59-52 advantage.

- See more at: http://www.news12varsity.com/brooklyn-bronx/christ-the-king-gets-needed-win-over-wings-academy-1.1843616#sthash.KTqrTxMZ.dpuf

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3rd Annual Apparel Challenge
1/3/17 - 01:39 PM

3rd Annual Apparel Challenge

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Admission:

Adults - $10

Students - $5

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Christ the King Holds On for Consolations Bracket Championship
1/1/17 - 01:33 PM

CK, led by Tyson Walker's 16 game high 16 points, holds on for a 1-point victory in the consolation bracket championship in Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, SC

Christ the King (7-3; New York, NY) led from buzzer to buzzer but had to hold on for a thrilling 49-48 victory over Providence (9-5; Jacksonville, FL) to capture the Consolation Championship at the 2016 Beach Ball Classic.

After building a 10-point lead at 18-8 with 4:47 to play in the opening half, Christ the King saw Providence’s Zackery Bryant connect on a 3-point field goal to end the half and pull the Stallions to within three points at 23-20.  Christ the King built leads as large as eight points in the second half but could not put Providence away.

The Knights, trailing 47-41 with 5:52 to play, went on a 7-2 run to close the gap to just one point at 49-48 on Kyle Marion’s trey with 1:50 on the clock.  A turnover and missed three-point attempt down the stretch by Bryant ended the Stallions’ chances for a win.

Christ the King was led by Tyson Walker’s 16 points while his teammate Kofi Cockburn added 14 points and seven rebounds.

http://www.beachballclassic.com/christ-the-king-ny-hold-on-for-consolation-bracket-championship/

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Christ the King Advances to Consolation Title Game
12/31/16 - 07:52 AM

Junior guard Tyson Walker helps lead CK to a 3 point victory over Westlake (GA)

Christ the King (6-3; New York, NY) advanced to the championship game of the consolation bracket with a 52-49 victory over Westlake (8-5; Atlanta, GA).

In one of the closest games so far in this year’s BBC, the teams battled to 12 lead changes and 15 tied scores and neither team led by more than six points.  After a first half that ended in a 27-27 tie, the teams continued to trade baskets with the score still tied at 44-44 with 5:59 to play.  Christ the King took its largest lead of the game at 50-44 with 2:09 remaining when Tyson Walker’s layup capped six unanswered points.

Westlake answered with five straight points to close the gap to just one point on Chase Hunter’s layup with 1:13 to play.  Tyson Clark was fouled and stepped to the line to connect on a pair of free throws to stretch the Christ the King lead to 52-39 with 17 seconds remaining.  Following a timeout, Barry Christopher turned the ball over for Westlake but the Lions got one more chance when Jose Alvarado misfired on the free throw after being fouled.  After yet another timeout by Westlake to set a final play, Alvarado stole Chuma Okeke’s inbounds pass to seal the victory.

Christ the King was led by a trio of players in double figures as Walker tallied 14 points, Kofi Cockburn scored 13 and Alvarado netted 11 points.  Westlake was paced by Okeke’s 20 points and 11 rebounds.

http://www.beachballclassic.com/christ-the-king-advances-to-consolation-title-game-2/

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Christ the King Holds off Socastee
12/28/16 - 10:14 PM

CK Sophomore Kofi Cockburn helped lead the Royals to victory with 13 points and 13 rebounds in their win over Socastee (SC)

Myrtle Beach, SC

A day after Socastee (6-5; Myrtle Beach, SC) played tough against one of the nation’s best programs in Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV), the Braves did it again against the storied program of Christ the King (5-1; New York, NY).  The Royals held off a late surge by Socastee to score a 40-36 consolation bracket victory.

The first half that saw both teams struggle from the field and also struggle in holding onto the ball as Christ the King committed nine turnovers and Socastee eight.  Christ the king connected on just 26.9 percent from the field (7-of-26) while the Braves hit just 35.0 percent (7-of-20).  With both teams struggling, the game ended in an 18-18 tie heading to the locker room after eight lead changes and four ties in the opening 16 minutes.

In the second half, Christ the King opened the largest lead of the contest when it took a 28-23 lead on Phillips Joseph’s 3-pointer with 10:46 remaining.  After the teams traded buckets, Socastee grabbed the lead once again at the 5:08 mark at 34-33 on a Jason Cudd layup.  Once again the teams traded baskets as Socastee took its last lead of the day at 36-35 on a dunk by Cudd.  Christ the King would score the games final five points to grab the victory as Socastee missed its final six shots and committed two turnovers in the final three minutes.

Kofi Cockburn led the way for Christ the King with 13 points and 13 rebounds.  Joseph added 12 points for the Royals.

Socastee was paced by Andrew Gardner’s 14 points and 10 rebounds.

http://www.beachballclassic.com/chris-the-king-ny-holds-off-socastee-sc/

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Jose Alvarado posts quadruple-double, first in CK history
12/27/16 - 11:55 AM

Jose Alvarado posted the first quadruple-double in CK history in their league win over Xaverian

By: USA Today High School Sports

Georgia Tech signee Jose Alvarado did something that has not been done in the long and storied history of Christ The King (Middle Village, N.Y.).

He posted a quadruple-double: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals, and that was before being taken out with about five minutes remaining in a victory against Xaverian Prep (Brooklyn).

That followed his effort the night before in a loss to Archbishop Stepanic (White Plains): 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

The 6-foot Alvarado was named New York City Catholic High School Player of the Year last season. He plays with the New York Rens on the summer circuit.

http://usatodayhss.com/2016/georgia-tech-signee-jose-alvarado-posts-quadruple-double#undefined.uxfs

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Christ the King B-Ball Goes Beyond The Court
12/11/16 - 06:44 PM

Jose Alvarado, senior point guard, is looking to lead a young Royals squad to a city championship

Queenstribune.com 

BY: Albert Roman

As the Christ the King Royals Varsity Basketball team prepares to launch their 2016-’17 campaign, they refuse to let last season’s shortcomings and high expectations cloud their clear-cut focus.

While the team posted a 19-9 over record, their quest for a fourth-straight city championship ended with a 68-64 loss against Bishop Loughlin High School in the CHSAA Intersectional Semifinals. The school’s basketball program is well known for its success. Along with three city championships, they’ve won two New York Federation titles in the previous four years. They’ve also produced a number of NBA players. Some alumni who’ve played for the Royals include two-time NBA champion Lamar Odom, NBA champion Speedy Claxton and NBA All-Star Jayson Williams.

With a program rich in star alumni and championships, winning is an aspect that is expected every season. Head Coach Joe Arbitello enters his ninth season and believes the best way to handle said expectations is to not let them affect the team.

“When you play for Christ the King the goals are already set for you. People expect a certain level of competition. Don’t balance it out. Just don’t deal with it. We’re here to play,” Arbitello said.

This season’s team will be led by CHSAA “AA” Player of the Year, senior point guard Jose Alvarado. He averaged 18.1 points and six assists per game. Over the spring, Alvarado attracted a number of colleges including Miami, St. John, Seton Hall, Oklahoma State and Indiana. He ultimately committed to Georgia Tech.

“He’s a great teammate, great competitor, shoots very well and I’m looking forward to seeing him on the floor,” Arbitello said.

Alvarado became the fifth Royal to be named player of the year in the last eight seasons. He will be joined by a number of returning players looking to improve upon their previous season. Heavily scouted 6’10” sophomore Kofi Cockburn, sophomore forward Jared Harrison-Hunte and junior combo guard Tyson Walker give the Royals a strong core heading into the season.

Coach Arbitello never sees the team’s ultimate goal as winning. To him, the most important aspect is grasping knowledge for the future.

“I hope they get scholarships. I hope they’ve gained experience to be able to play at the next level. In the eight years I’ve been coach we’ve had every kid go to Division I, II and III schools. It’s about doing the work academically; it’s about being prepared on the basketball court,” Arbitello said.

“And if you do all those things the byproduct is you’ll probably win. We have enough talent to win—those things just have to come together. Your willingness to compete has to be there.”

The Royals opened their season on the road Dec. 6 against All Hallows High School.

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Royals show big potential on the court
11/24/16 - 10:21 PM

Jose Alvarado calls out play during the CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens Championship Game between Xaverian and Christ the King.

TimesLedger.com 

By Laura Amato

Christ the King basketball coach Joe Arbitello has been pleasantly surprised. 

He knew his team was talented, but he wasn’t quite expecting this year’s Royals squad to be ready to contend for a title. He has a different feeling about that now. 

“I’m excited and happy,” Arbitello said. “And I don’t normally say that. I think we’re tough. I think we’re good. I think we’re better than what people think we’re going to be. And I’ve got a bunch of young guys that want to learn and play hard.”

The Royals graduated a good chunk of their starting lineup from last season—a team that came up just short of its city championship goal—but despite the overall youth of this season’s Christ the King squad, the group has found its rhythm early. 

And that rhythm is based, almost entirely, on an ability to move the ball. 

“Mainly it’s just been about [working on] confidence,” said junior guard Tyson Walker. “We can communicate well and we can run the floor and we can score. Everybody passes the ball well, too.”

There have been plenty of preseason questions regarding the Royals’ youth, but if there’s one thing that’s certain about Christ the King it’s the team’s on-court leader—senior point guard Jose Alvarado. 

The longtime varsity standout and recent Georgia Tech commit shouldered a good amount of pressure for the Royals last season, and was the unquestioned spark that made Christ the King’s offense go. Now he’ll have to do even more—be an extension of Arbitello on the court—but the Royals coach isn’t worried about Alvarado.

“Jose’s the one guy in all my years of coaching, I don’t have to worry about,” he said. “He can fit into anything because he does everything.”

In addition to Alvarado and Walker in the backcourt, Arbitello expects to start small forward Jared Harrison-Hunte and 6-foot-10 center Kofi Cockburn. The fifth spot is still a bit up in the air, but that uncertainty has only helped up the intensity in these early-season practices. 

It’s also given Arbitello the opportunity to get a bit more hands-on with this squad. He’s teaching again, molding players to fit in a Christ the King program that’s a perennial force across the city. 

“It’s a little bit more exciting in the fact that I’ve got to come in and teach and go through it,” he said. “Last year I had so many experienced guys who knew exactly what was going on and, at times, that’s probably a little less fun, but it’s also a lot less frustrating.”

Arbitello—and his team—know it won’t be easy. The league isn’t wide open this year and there are plenty of squads across Brooklyn-Queens that could contend for a title or, even a city championship. That hardly means the Royals aren’t prepared to try. 

In fact, this year’s team is ready to prove something. There’s a youth movement happening in Middle Village this season and Christ the King is ready to surprise a few people. 

“I feel like we’re very tough, a lot of talent, but we’re very young,” Walker said. “We feel like we have a lot to show people. Just because we’re young doesn’t mean anything. We still can play anybody.”

Posted 12:00 am, November 24, 2016

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FloHoops says CK is Preseason #19 in the nation
10/8/16 - 12:14 AM

Senior Jose Alvarado looks to lead a young Royals squad to a city championship this season

FloHoops Top 25 High School Boys Basketball Rankings Countdown

By: Jordan Divens

No. 19: Christ the King -- Middle Village, New York

HEAD COACH: Joe Arbitello

2015-16 RECORD: 19-9

KEY RETURNERS:
PG: Jose Alvarado (6-foot, 2017, committed to Georgia Tech)
SG: Tyson Walker (6-0, 2018)
SF: Jared Harrison-Hunte (6-5, 2019)
C: Kofi Cockburn (6-10, 2019)

Watch Christ The King live and on-demand on FloHoops this season during American Family Insurance Hoophall West.

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TEAM PREVIEW:
Recapture the CHSAA City Championship. That's the starting mission for Christ the King after falling in the Catholic league's semifinals to Bishop Loughlin last season. A team accustomed to winning -- claiming three city crowns and two New York Federation titles in the last four years -- the Royals boast a strong core that hopes to return to form. Led by reigning CHSAA "AA" Player of the Year Jose Alvarado, who averaged 17 points and 6.5 assists per game in 2015-16, Christ the King also has highly touted big man Kofi Cockburn, versatile workhorse Jared Harrison-Hunte, and combo guard Tyson Walker for a balanced attack. However, other players need to step up in order for the Royals to reach their goal.

By Jordan Divens

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New Offers for CK Sophomore Kofi Cockburn
10/1/16 - 08:13 AM

NYCHoops.net

By: Maurice Wingate

Considered a project as a freshman, 6’10” Kofi Cockburn ‘19 is quickly turning into luxury high rise on the upper east side as a sophomore to the surprise of his coach at Christ the King HS, Joe Arbitello. If his progression continues at this pace, defenders should be very afraid.

Arbitello said that Cockburn already had three basic components as a freshman. “I thought he caught the ball well. His footwork was really, really good and he runs as fast as anyone I’ve ever coached.” Coach Arbitello likened his expectation to that of his senior point guard Jose Alvarado ‘17 as a sophomore and how he shattered all expectations.

To his credit, Cockburn has worked on his game over the summer according to Arbitello. “He’s worked with trainers, with us, on his own and you can see how much better he’s gotten.” NYCHoops.net concurs that Cockburn has gotten measurably better. “Now he’s able to finish at the rim better,” said Arbitello. “He’s also gotten more physical.”

Cockburn’s increased maturity also comes into play, traveling from Jamaica, West Indies to New York to live with his mother. “I think watching Jose sign with Georgia Tech really inspired him to see the big picture,” Coach Arbitello added.

The upside of Cockburn was picked up by Colleges immediately as a freshman. According Karriem Memminger, who handles his recruitment, the sophomore big man already has offers from St. John’s, Rutgers, Seton Hall, VCU, St. Louis plus a new offer from UNLV on Wednesday.

Cockburn’s list should increase once coaches check out his noticeable improvement at the Royals open gym which just began.

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Jose Alvarado Commits to Georgia Tech
9/15/16 - 08:45 PM

MSGVarsity.com

by Elio Velez on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 6:26 PM

There were plenty of sleepless nights for Christ the King’s star guard Jose Alvarado in days leading to arguably making the biggest decision of his high school life. 

All of the stress that enveloped Alvarado over the last few days would disappear on Thursday afternoon by announcing his commitment to play college basketball at Georgia Tech next season in front of family, teammates and fellow students gathered at Christ the King High School. 

“I had a tough time sleeping. Talking to my parents. It was just a tough time. It was stressful but also a blessing to be in this situation I’m in,” Alvarado said. “A lot of people would love to be in that situation. I’m fine with my decision.”

Last season, Alvarado excelled as a leader and as the team’s top scorer by averaging 15.4 points per game and being named as the CHSAA Class AA’s Most Valuable Player along with being a News 12 Varsity all-city first team selection. This past summer playing with the New York Rens on the Nike EYBL circuit cemented his status as one of the top point guards on the East Coast. 

Alvarado said he made his decision last night to head to the ACC Conference to play with Georgia Tech and its new head coach Josh Pastner. The senior believed it was a tough choice along with finalists Seton Hall and Rutgers but feels academically and athletically the Yellow Jackets have everything to offer. 

The pull of staying close to home either at Rutgers or Seton Hall was strongly considered but Alvarado was excited to follow in the footsteps of former city stars Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury heading down to Atlanta. Yet there were no doubt that his point guard skills, passing, ability to get to the basket and being a hard worker on both ends makes him a perfect fit with Pastner’s face-paced offense. 

“I thought it was the perfect fit. ACC is a big, big conference,” Alvarado said. “I felt like I was ready for that ACC. It’s a fast paced offense. Pick and roll and that’s my game. I fell in love with the conference.”

Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello was glad that his senior made a decision that alleviated all the pressure that had been building up the last few weeks from social media and other outlets.  

“I’m happy for him because I know it was stressing him out. He called me at like 11 o’clock at night and wondering why I didn't pick up my phone. I got a 6 and 7 year old sleeping," Arbitello jokingly said. "It was hard on him. He wanted to make the right choice. One of the redeeming qualities of him is that he knew how important the decision was going to be.”

Alvarado may not be a lightning quick point guard, but his other qualities, both physically and mentally, more than makes him able to play against some of the big programs in the ACC according to Arbitello. 

“Tom Konchalski [talent evaluator] said he’s a kid who rather stop breathing than lose,” Arbitello said. “In a war you go to play North Carolina, Duke with the Duke crazies, that’s the difference. You want to go to war with him. He ain’t backing down from anything.”

Alvarado also surprised his coach by how early the college commitment process came so now the senior can focus his attention on getting a young Royals team back to the city championship game and winning his second title. 

"It’s a big weight off my chest obviously. That’s why I wanted to do it before the season. We lost in the semifinals to Bishop Loughlin and this is my senior year,” Alvarado said. “ We got great players, young talent with me and I feel like we’re taking it all this year.”

- See more at: http://www.news12varsity.com/brooklyn-bronx/alvarado-commits-down-south-to-georgia-tech-1.1811905#sthash.3cJ1sWjb.dpuf

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Rutgers, Seton Hall in pitched battle for top hoops recruit
9/11/16 - 03:15 PM

Royals Senior point guard Jose Alvarado is being heavily recruited by Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Georgia Tech, among others.

NYPost.com 

By Zach Braziller

September 10, 2016 | 9:01pm

The Seton Hall-Rutgers rivalry lost its heat once the Scarlet Knights left the Big East for the Big Ten. The annual games haven’t been competitive in recent years, the vastly superior Pirates winning by a combined 56 points the past two years and reaching the NCAA Tournament last season.

But there is a battle developing, at least off the court, that could be significant. It centers around a hard-nosed Queens point guard named Jose Alvarado — a three-star, top-150 recruit from powerhouse Christ the King, who on Thursday cut his list down to three schools: the two New Jersey rivals and Georgia Tech.

“They’re coming after me hard, both of them,” the 6-foot Alvarado said in a phone interview, referring to Rutgers and Seton Hall.

Both staffs visited with Alvarado on Friday. Whereas Rutgers, starting over again with new coach Steve Pikiell, needs him and has made it clear he is its priority, Seton Hall is very much in the mix, too, with the recent history of landing New York City guards like Isaiah Whitehead, Desi Rodriguez and Khadeen Carrington. Though they are also recruiting St. Raymond point guard Isaiah Washington, Alvarado is one of their top 2017 targets.

But with Rutgers, it is clear where Alvarado stands. When Pikiell left Stony Brook for New Jersey’s state university in March, he immediately began recruiting Alvarado himself, and remains his lead recruiter.

Alvarado is loyal, sticking with Christ the King at a time when many top local prospects are attending prep schools out of state. He would like to stay close to home, where he easily could visit his parents and little brother when there is down time.

Pikiell frequently tells him, “I’m his guy. He’s going to give me the keys once I get there,” Alvarado said. They text-message and talk on the phone frequently. There is no assistant coach serving as the middle man.

“I’ve never seen a Division I head coach as transparent and with an open a line of communication with me, with [a player] and his parents,” Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said. “They’re all in on Jose Alvarado.”

Basketball actually was Alvarado’s third sport. His first passion was baseball, then came football, but after a serious neck injury landed him in the hospital, he switched to basketball. It wasn’t until getting to Christ the King that he realized he had a future.
“It just came out of nowhere,” he said. “I didn’t know I was going to be a Division I basketball player.”

He has enjoyed a stellar career at Christ the King, following in the school’s long list of elite point guards. Alvarado won a city title as a sophomore for the Royals and had a big summer with the New York Rens on the AAU circuit. He doesn’t have that wow factor, but he wins, makes others around him better and has leadership qualities, said one college coach who had recruited Alvarado before the recent cut down.

“What he lacks in speed or shooting [ability], he makes up with by being savvy and making high IQ plays,” the coach said. “By any means, he finds way to win.”

Alvarado has been to all three campuses, and plans to take official visits to Rutgers and Seton Hall. He could see himself making a decision this month. What that decision is remains to be seen. He could go to Rutgers, the school that needs him the most, or Seton Hall, where he would join an established, veteran-laden roster. Georgia Tech is also an option, under new coach Josh Pastner.

“It’s extremely hard,” Alvarado said.

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CK's Alvarado takes a shot at becoming the best
8/6/16 - 11:59 PM

Jose Alvarado looks to lead CK back to a city championship in 2017

TimesLedger.com 

By: Lauren Amato

Jose Alvarado’s plan for this summer was to work harder than anyone, train longer than anyone and in the end be better than anyone else. 

So far, it seems the Christ the King basketball standout’s plan has worked out pretty well. 

Alvarado excelled on the AAU circuit over the last few weeks—wrapping up his final season with the NY Rens—and now he’s reaping the benefits of all that effort.

“I wanted to show people that I could just play,” Alvarado said. “That was the plan. That was really it.”

Alvarado had a dominant junior season with the Royals this year, with 18.1 points and six assists per game, but he was still disappointed with the way things ended. 

Christ the King came up short of winning a fourth-straight city championship, falling to Bishop Loughlin in the semifinals last season and that disappointment fueled Alvarado whenever he put on a Rens uniform. 

“I just do whatever I can and I’m trying to get as good as I want to be,” Alvarado said. “I want to be the best basketball player I can. I’m going to get the job done. I’m not the most athletic. I’m not the best handler or the best shooter, but I’m going to make it all work. That’s just how I play.”

This isn’t Alvarado’s first stint on the AAU circuit—he’s been playing with the Rens since he was in the seventh grade—but there was something special about this summer. 

This was his last chance to prove himself, a chance to showcase his skills to the entire country and, most importantly, to college coaches. Alvarado wasn’t going to waste a chance like that. 

“It’s given me a good opportunity to play against some of the best,” he said. “This is my first and only AAU team. They brought me in when I was really nothing and they just believed in me the whole time. They became really important to me.”

While Alvarado might not think he’s the best at handing the ball or scoring, he’s proven himself wrong this summer—taking on some of the best in the country and driving past them with ease. Or at least dishing it off to a teammate who can do the same. 

Alvarado’s reputation has skyrocketed over the last few weeks, going from highly-touted recruit to must-see basketball talent. 

He’s picked up looks from Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State, while Seton Hall has been actively pursuing him over the last few weeks. Rutgers—under first-year coach Steve Pikiell—has also shown serious interest. 

Alvarado is taking it all in stride, determined to find the perfect fit. 

“I want to feel comfortable,” Alvarado said. “I want to find somewhere I know that I’ll fit and somewhere that will need me the most.” 

Before he deals with anything that has to do with college and major basketball decisions, Alvarado is taking a few moments to catch his breath. And then, he’s going to get back to work. 

After all, he’s got a city championship to win this season.

“I think I can do a little bit more,” Alvarado said. “I want to take every opportunity. I really appreciate everything and I know that it’s all a blessing.”

 

Posted 6:27 pm, August 4, 2016

©2016 COMMUNITY NEWS GROUP

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Jared Rivers signs with LIU Post
8/2/16 - 06:00 PM

CK Royal Jared Rivers, a two year Varsity starter, signed his letter of intent to play for LIU Post on Long Island.

Rivers had a great four years at CK, helping lead the Royals to city championship apperances as a freshmen on the JV, and as a sophomore and junior on the varsity.

Rivers leaves CK as a two time city champion and 2014 state champion, to go along with many other accolades.

Congratulations to Rivers and his family on a great accomplishment!

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