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Tom Zale, of Oak Forest, gets the lay up against Hillcrest at Oak Forest HS, Friday, Febuary 3rd, 2012 in Oak Forest, IL. l Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Tom Zale, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound guard, is the rare three-sport athlete, also starring in football and baseball. The Hille Middle School graduate was the Bengals’ starting quarterback, helping them to the Class 6A quarterfinals. After hoops season, he’ll turn in his basketball for a baseball and be relied upon as a key member of the Oak Forest pitching staff.
What’s the biggest challenge being a three-sport athlete?
The summer. From 7 to 10 (a.m.) it’s football, then 11 (a.m.) to 1 (p.m.) basketball and after 2 (p.m.) I go to baseball. It’s nonstop.
Did you ever consider giving up one or two sports to specialize in one?
I love all three sports and didn’t want to give any of them up.
What’s the most important value your parents have instilled in you?
Leadership. They taught me to lead by example, and also verbally. When the team gets down, it’s my job to get them back up.
If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you choose as your prom date?
What’s your go-to move in a game of H-O-R-S-E?
Standing on the baseline and shooting over the backboard.
Given the chance, what person, dead or alive, would you most like to meet? Why?
Peyton Manning. Everybody says I look like him, and I respect him as an athlete.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. You can have an endless supply of one food. What would it be?
The honey barbecue wings from Buffalo Wild Wings.
OK. You’re starving after a game. How many of wings can you eat?
Twenty-four, with a side of fries dipped in ranch.
What’s in your iPod?
John Mayer, Drake, Jason Aldean.