The Student News Site of Sanger High School



Alvarado: A decade of basketball

Over 25 years of teaching and coaching
Evan Hernandez

 It is one thing to multitask multiple jobs at once, but to achieve success while multitasking, is a completely different story. Sanger High School teacher and boys basketball head coach, Al Alvarad,o has done just that in his long tenured career as an educator and has created a winning culture in Sanger High basketball. 

     “I’ve been teaching education for 25-26 years, coaching for 25 years. Just like in a classroom we have lessons and we break them down into little groups and teach them in a whole class setting. So, same kind of concept in basketball, we develop lessons in our practice plans, hit some areas that we want to teach, and then we spiral back and keep reinforcing some of these fundamentals of offense and defense, and the test is the game, it’s when we get to see and look at the film and see if what we been teaching all week is showing on the court” says Alvarado. 

     He exemplifies what it means to implement his skills between education and combine it with basketball in creating similar mindsets to achieve both jobs successfully. For teaching and coaching, both have their similarities in how you can bring it all together and to reach success; exactly how Alvarado has brought it upon his students and his athletes. 

     Alvarado’s journey has come a long way from being involved with Sanger High basketball as a student, to fulfilling his aspirations into becoming a head coach for the school he once attended. He created a full-circle moment in achieving his goal and continuing for what now has been a decade worth of head coaching the Sanger High boys basketball team. 

     “I played here at Sanger High in 1991. My coach was Del Beshore at the time. I fell in love with the game. My brother started coaching. I went in and helped them out, and my competitive juices started going again. I remember when I was young, 17 years-old, my goal was to come back and be the head basketball coach here at Sanger High, my senior year in high school. I’ve been around the valley and now I’m here,” Alvarado says. With being involved with several programs for the past 25 years of coaching, his last ten have been achieved here at Sanger High, establishing a winning culture of the boys basketball program. 

     Alavardo’s impact within the community of Sanger and the sport of basketball has been everything but unnoticeable. Encouraging the youth involved in basketball, hosting sanger swish events, creating AAU teams, and bringing the scene of Sanger basketball into one big family. He helps in developing the youth, whether that be through basketball and life skills all into one. From children, to highschool students, Alvarado has created paths for many people around him whether it has been students, family members, and peers of the school. Rachel Jolly, an English teacher and assistant coach involved with the boys basketball program discusses Alvarados impact towards herself and how she paved a way for Jolly to be involved within the basketball program. 

     “Al started coaching here when I was a senior in high school, he started the varsity program. I remember him being scary and hardcore but when I didn’t know where to go during COVID he asked me to be a part of this team and it actually changed the trajectory of my life. I’m now getting my masters in sports admin and I want to pursue a career in sports. He’s definitely encouraged me and empowered me and developed me into someone who understands the sport and knows how to be around it, and a part of it” says Jolly. 

     He continues to bring his life motives into others, bringing familiarity and growth within one another striving to become stronger, better, and more successful than what they once were. 

     Security guard, brother of Alvarado, former assistant coach of the basketball program, Mark Alvarado, discusses the impact that Alvarado has brought upon his own siblings. 

     “Well since he’s my brother I’ve known him for my whole life. As a coach he is awesome to be around, hes knows his X’s and O’s, he’s very passionate about the game of basketball, so that kind of instilled with me as a player when I played basketball, I got to look up to my older brothers and him being one of them, and then coming back and helping him coach for the ten years that he has been here has been amazing,” says Alvarado. 

     Exemplifying his work ethic as a coach and as an older brother of Mark, and what he’s done for him being able to open the doors of coaching side by side with Al. Mark would showcase a big brother moment between him and Al and what relates to Alvarado up to this day. 

     “When I was younger, I was learning to play basketball. Where SAC is now was Washington middle school. That was the place to hoop, if you were a hooper you were at Washington. There was a time that I went to try and play with the big boys and he didn’t let me. He made me sit on the sideline and go over layups, and dribbling for like a month and a half – two months. One day he let me get on the court, and he never regretted it,” says Mark Alvarado.

     A favorite moment of Marks, as he claims, extends to Alvarado’s story for his love as a coach and the importance for the game of basketball towards himself and sharing it upon to others like his brothers such as Mark. 

     Alvarado shares his thoughts on the progres of Sanger High and its boys basketball program that he helped develop for the past decade. Reflecting upon the past and now the present, he’s been involved with so much for the school and the community of Sanger.   

     “You just see the program kind of mold and shape into being one of the top teams in the valley, it’s taken a long time. It’s amazing to come back and think about where we started from and where we are at, where we’ve been, it’s amazing. It’s a testament of all my coaches hard work, our players work hard I mean we play all year around. It feels great because this is my Alma Mater of Sanger High,” says Alvarado. 

     As a dedicated educator/coach to Sanger High, we contribute this story to Al Alvarado for his long tenured career creating an impact in development towards students and athletes. 

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About the Contributor
Evan Hernandez, Photo Editor
Evans lived in Sanger all his life attending schools like Reagan Elementary, Quail Lake Charter, and Sanger High School. Evan enjoys exploring the town on his bike. As part of his daily life,  he keeps a camcorder and camera on him at all times for his love of filming mini documentaries. Whether by himself or with a group of friends, he’s everybody’s cameraman which is why he joined journalism to learn more about journalistic writing with a touch of photography. In school, he’s an FFA student, but outside of school is when his creative freedom kicks in. 
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