February 21, 2016

Calcaterra adding skills and versatility

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Joey Calcaterra

Joey Calcaterra could be a stand-in for photographers and filmmakers in need of someone portraying your prototypical choir boy. However, get the 2017 Marin Catholic High guard on the court and he'll quickly demonstrate there is nothing ordinary about his game. Just ask Campolindo High which was on the receiving end of a 46 point outburst on December 3.

The 6-foot-3 Calcaterra is averaging 27.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals this season for Marin Catholic. The advancements in his game can be seen in his numbers—he averaged 20 points per game last season as a 6-foot-1 sophomore, and 5.8 points per game as a freshman—as well as on the court where he is working to incorporate point guard skills into his two guard arsenal.

“My numbers are up but we lost two big seniors in Charlie Duysen and Frankie Calcaterra (his brother) who averaged 16 and 14 points a game,” Calcaterra modestly offered. “I knew coming in that I would have to take a bigger role in scoring and leadership.”

He was also appointed as captain this season, one of a trio of Wildcats selected. Asked if he was a vocal leader, a demonstrative one, or a combination of both, Calcaterra answered, “Both. It's important that I show my work ethic and play hard all game but speak up when it's needed. Coach [Mike] Saia is counting on me to play that role on and off the court.”

His attention-generating numbers have also brought a higher level of attention from opposing coaches. “In league, everyone knows everyone, so every game I see a box-and-one. When I catch the ball, I know two or three defenders will be coming at me. I have to get into my offense quickly or get the ball to one of my teammates.”

So what did he focus on last summer? “Overall, last summer was great. I had the chance to participate in the first ever Northern California versus Southern California All-Star Game. I was also invited to the Under Armour Elite 100 camp in L.A. I had good showings in both. I especially worked hard on becoming a better point guard, my ball handling and passing, trying to reach the skill level that a college point guard needs. I also worked on my shooting, finding different ways to score like attacking the rim, and my pull-up jumper. This season, I'm shooting 10% higher than last year with my three.”

His goal this summer is to “work hard to get where I want to be, to see where I am athletically, and see what opportunities come up. As usual, I'll be working with a personal trainer to get stronger and quicker to get ready for the next level.”

This spring and summer, Calcaterra will run with Splash City, the Steph Curry-sponsored travel team. “I'm excited to play for Splash City, and play on the Under Armour circuit, as this is where the best talent in the country play. It was a huge honor for me to be invited to play on this team. We open our tournament season in New York and Indianapolis in mid-April, so our team is going to start working out together in a few weeks when our high school seasons end.”

But first comes the Marin County Athletic League playoffs. “We weren't that successful (fifth place in league) but we think we are capable of being the top team. We just beat one of our rivals by 20 points last night, so we are off to a great start. We have the personnel and we're ready to execute.”