OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As Omaha Bryan tips off its season, the Bears' star shooting guard Johnny Montalvo will miss some games.
He won't be on the court because he'll be in the boxing ring. He's laced up the gloves ever since he was 10 years old.
"My favorite part of boxing is the opposite of what my favorite thing in basketball is," Montalvo said. "It's just you in the ring. Just when I get in there and that bell rings, and I just start throwing punches, it just feels like, you know, this is what I love doing. This is me."
Johnny has compiled a record of 34-13. USA Boxing has him ranked eighth nationally among amateurs in the 152-pound weight class.
"Johnny is, I would say a fire cracker," his father George Montalvo said. "He goes out there, he sees something, he sees a weakness, an opportunity, and he's all over it."
From December 4-8, he will compete in the USA National tournament. It's the event he finished as the runner up last year, denying him a spot on America's International Boxing team.
"I'm the experienced one now and I feel like I've got to use that to my advantage," Montalvo said.
The stakes for that spot are the same this year again. The winner of the USA National Tournament will also get access to Olympic facilities, another incentive for Johnny to take home the crown.
Basketball will have to wait as Johnny hopes to make this his boxing coming out party. He hopes the national tournament will be the first step of accomplishing his ultimate goal, being on the US Olympic team in 2020.
He's currently 17. He plans on turning pro at 19.