Friday Night Sports Hero: Tate Gurcuillo

MAXWELL, Neb. (KNOP) - Tate Gurciullo has been playing basketball since he could walk. He was drawn to the sport as a kid, and had been in love with it ever since.

Tate Gurcuillo is a four sport athlete, and leader on the basketball court for Maxwell. (Credit: Patrick Johnstone/KNOP-TV)

"It's just been a sport that I've always been super interested in and always kind of came to me," Gurciullo said. "It's easy to fall in love with. You have a hoop in the driveway, and that's something you do all summer; get a couple of friends together and you can play for hours."

As a senior, his teammates look to him for guidance on the court.

"Kids kind of look to him, they know if he's got the experience. They know they can rely on that a little bit and kind of look to him when we need something to happen out on the floor," Maxwell basketball coach Brent Dinslage said.

One of Gurcuillo's teammates who knows first-hand how trustworthy he is on and off the court is sophomore Jack Meyer, who has been friends with Gurcuillo practically his whole life.

"He just brings a lot of energy and he's a great leader," Meyer said, "he is a great outside shooter and he can dribble, he knows the game. He's always happy he's got a good attitude all the time."

When asked what words come to mind when he thinks of Gurcuillo, Meyer said, "determined, athletic, nice. He'll do anything for anybody."

Dinslage says Gurcuillo has a lot of natural talent, but that doesn't mean he doesn't try to make himself better.

"He's one who's in the gym quite a bit, and loves to shoot around. That's why he's one of our better shooters, he puts in the time to make himself better and it's showing. You can really tell that he loves the game," Dinslage said.

In sports, a big play when your team needs it can change momentum in a game, rally teammates, and fire up the crowd. Given the option between hitting a big shot, or making a big defensive stop, Gurcuillo would rather hitting a key bucket.

"There's a lot of energy that goes into it, You see all the highlights from the NBA and see those guys hit the game winner to go to the finals, it's just a fun feeling. There's been a couple times where I've hit a kind of big shot and it just felt great. So, just hitting those shot,s especially when you need them the most, there's no other feeling like it," Gurcuillo said.

Gurcuillo is a four sport athlete, also playing football and baseball, and participating in track. He says basketball is his favorite sport, but baseball is a close second. He hopes to play either basketball or baseball at the Junior College level next year.

Aside from sports, Gurcuillo is also big into music, singing in the chior and playing in the band. Recently, he performed at Doane University in an honor choir, and will soon be performing in the UNK Honor Choir.

"He's big into the choir, he loves to sing, that's a passion for him, and he's really good at it," Dinslage said.

"Choir and band have always been something that have interested me. Everyone asks me 'what's your favorite genre of music?' and I say 'music' because I don't think I've ever really had a genre music that I haven't enjoyed," Gurcuillo said.

Gurcuillo said his music preferences for singing and listening are similar, and if he were to audition for a singing competition reality show, the song he would sing is "Bruises" by Lewis Capaldi.