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Montecalvo Excited to Start as a Senior
Kyle Montecalvo is set to start for the Valley Regional boys’ basketball team in 2021. The senior combo guard-forward is a skilled ball handler who can score inside the paint or from the perimeter. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Montecalvo )
Kyle Montecalvo will be getting his time in the limelight as a senior with the Valley Regional boys’ basketball team this year. Kyle is a versatile ball handler who can play point guard, shooting guard, or small forward, and he’s going to be counted on as a valuable contributor in the Warriors’ starting lineup.
Kyle will be slotting into Valley’s varsity lineup after playing major minutes and serving as a leader for the JV team last season. Kyle was skilled enough to start for many Shoreline Conference squads, but the Warriors’ varsity roster was filled to the brim with talented seniors. Now, Kyle is set to turn some heads this year thanks to the hard work that he’s put in against strong competitors like his older brother and program alum Jason Montecalvo.
“I’m proud of not quitting on things when they became hard. Year after year, I’ve improved my game. I like playing against taller players who are tougher to get my shot off against, so I’m prepared when game time comes around and I’m playing someone my height or shorter,” says Kyle, a 6-foot-1 combo guard-forward. “I play against my brother in the driveway, and I’ve been doing some basketball camps around the area. I also played with the Valley Basketball Club. That’s with the people that I’ve been playing with for a longer time, and we go to play tougher competition, which just builds us up for the regular season.”
Kyle has always been capable of playing the point guard position. However, he can also move out to the wing to allow for more ball handlers to take the floor alongside him.
“I’ve always been very good with the ball in my hands,” Kyle says. “I don’t turn it over a lot, which is good. I’ve always liked having the ball in my hands. I just feel comfortable with it.”
While Kyle is a valuable floor general, he feels that his best asset is his ability to shoot the ball. With Kyle’s repertoire of ball handling, passing, and shooting, the Warriors have an adaptable offense at their disposal.
“I have an advantage since I’m a taller point guard and I can see over the defense. I try to get the ball to guys who are hot. You also have to protect the ball and make sure you don’t turn it over. I take my shot if it’s there. I feel like being aggressive opens things up for my teammates,” says Kyle, a Deep River resident. “My strength is definitely shooting, but if I have a lane, I can get in there to score. If two guys collapse on me, I can kick it to the big man or outside for the open shot.”
Kyle tries to emulate the play style of the NBA’s Luka Dončić, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Kyle is a Boston Celtics’ fan through and through, but he finds that Dončić’s style is a great example to follow.
“I would definitely call myself a die-hard Celtics’ fan, but I’ve watched a lot of Luka Dončić,” Kyle says. “His court vision is unreal. He’s got a soft touch at the rim and, if he doesn’t have anything, he kicks it out right into a teammate’s hands. If I play like him a little bit, I can see it benefiting my team.”
Kyle wants to be a leader for the Warriors on the court. As a senior, Kyle believes that his experience can be an asset in helping his teammates during both practices and games.
“I’m not a captain, but I’m still going to be a leader. I want us to win as much as we can this year,” says Kyle, who also plays baseball at Valley. “For me, the biggest thing is leading by example and through my body language. When things go wrong, you can’t get down. If you’re having a bad shooting night, you can still play great defense. You can still get rebounds. So what if you don’t shoot well? You can still help your team in a lot of different categories.”
Head Coach Kevin Woods is excited to see Kyle get some serious varsity playing time this season. Woods knows that Kyle can help Valley develop a versatile offense like some of the great Warriors’ teams of yesteryear.
“Kyle’s definitely a leader and well-respected by all members of his team. He was an excellent JV player last year, and he was a leader there. We’re going rely heavily on Kyle,” Woods says. “Kyle reminds me of the type of player we had in 2013, where all our parts were interchangeable. His game is so diverse, he will help us in a variety of ways. The more guys that can handle the basketball, the better. Regardless of the position he plays, he adds another great ball handler to the mix. You can never have enough of those.”
After finishing his high school career at Valley, Kyle plans to attend Endicott College in Massachusetts. For now, though, Kyle remains focused on helping the Warriors have the most their successful season possible. Valley graduated a slew of seniors from last year’s team, but Kyle believes that the Warriors will be right there with the rest of the Shoreline Conference this winter.
“This year, I think a lot of people aren’t looking at us. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people. We’re super confident that we’re going to have a good year. We have a lot of hungry young guys that can really play,” Kyle says. “Nothing is guaranteed. If you don’t work hard, you’ll get exposed. You have to work for this. It doesn’t matter how many threes you make or how many dribble moves you can do—you have to outwork people.”