February 19, 2015

Calcaterra points the way

Kevin McCarthy

His numbers may be in small print but they jump out at the reader. Joey Calcaterra is second in Marin County scoring this season at 20.1 points per game and also second in the Marin County Athletic League with a 19.3 average. To complete the trifecta, he wears No. 2 on his Marin Catholic uniform however there's no official confirmation if he has acquired the nickname Avis.

photo of Joey Calceterra

The 6-foot-2, 150 pounder sophomore is shooting 50% overall in 2014-15 alongside 154 attempts at the foul line thus far in 25 contests. As a varsity freshman—an achievement in itself—he contributed 5.8 points an outing and hoisted 80 free throws total.

So why the jump in production? Marin Catholic Coach Mike Saia offered, “he's wiry strong and has a knack for getting to the basket and the foul line.” Calcaterra answered the question with “my intensity level” as his top basketball skill but also “attacking the basket and my pullup jumper.”

As a reference, older brother Frankie is scoring 13.3 points per game and fellow senior Charlie Duysen averages 17.2. Each was at 13.7 and 18.8 respectively last season but Josh Walewander's 10.6 points was lost to graduation.

So it looks like a combination of Calcaterra stepping up, the development of a higher skill level and more shots to be spread around is leading to his scoring prominence.

He is a dribble-drive advocate. “It's more contact but more fun, a better way to score. People become scared of you when you don't settle for a jumper.”

The young man also has mapped out a main target for improvement this spring and summer when he will run with Lakeshow again. “I definitely want to improve my three-point shot.” Calcaterra is at 31% right now in that category, shooting 25-81. “I played a grade above [with Lakeshow] last year” and he spent a lot of time manning the point.

Citing his father Rich as his largest basketball influence—“definitely my Dad who played at DeSmet High in St. Louis.” He also includes his brothers, too. “Their success has motivated me.” Besides the 6-foot-5, 190 pound Frankie, a senior who is averaging the aforementioned 13.3 points and a team best 8.8 rebounds, there Nick Calcaterra who is a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard at San Francisco State.

As for his best basketball moment to date in his young high school tenure, he said, “Last year, playing varsity as a freshman and getting decent minutes. I was the only one in my class to do so.”

Some might veer away from continuing the intra-family hoops competition into the later teenage years but not the Calcaterras. “We keep it up, playing a lot of one-on-one even though we get mad at each other.”

It's part of a formula that's obviously working well.