Athlete of the Week

Co-Captain Thomas Palleschi ’12 knocked down shots from all over the court in Andover’s game against Choate on Saturday, scoring 37 points, more than half of Andover’s 67 points in the game. Palleschi also blocked five shots and rebounded 18, giving him 998 rebounds in his Andover career. His efforts earned him the honor of being this week’s Athlete of the Week.

What do you think makes you so good at basketball, particularly scoring?

My entire life I’ve used my size to my advantage, particularly my width. When I post someone up it’s difficult for them to get around me which allows me to create some space to catch the ball. My back to the basket game has always been something I’ve worked on offensively because the majority of the time I will have some sort of size advantage on my defender. I feel that my greatest contribution to the team is rebounding. I’m two away from 1000 in my Andover career, a feat I’m very proud of.

How has your work ethic over the summer and fall contributed to your success so far this year? What type of training do you do?

Over the summer is when sports basically run my life. I have baseball every day and basketball around three times a week. I feel that playing two sports at once helps me avoid burnout and just makes me want to work harder to improve my game because I’m not devoting all of my time towards one sport like a lot of the players I play against. One thing I worked on especially hard this summer was my right hand. Every scouting report against me would have said that I never use my right hand and I wanted to change that so it would be much more difficult to guard me.

What is your favorite part about basketball?

My favorite part about basketball is the fact that we’re a family. If anything ever goes wrong with schoolwork or in my personal life I can turn to one of my teammates for help. We’re all great friends and we all have each others’ backs.

How do you manage playing both baseball and basketball?

Playing two sports can be tough at times but it’s not that difficult to manage. When you’re in season for baseball then baseball has to take priority over basketball and vice versa.

Why did you choose Tufts?

Tufts was an obvious choice for me. They’re close to home so my parents can make it to all of my games, the campus is beautiful, there’s an opportunity for me to play both sports and the coaching staffs for baseball and basketball are great. I developed a great relationship with both Coach Sheldon (basketball) and Coach Casey (baseball). But most importantly, it’s a great academic school. I’m going to get an education and play sports, not play sports and get an education.

Why did you choose number 50?

It’s the only jersey that fit me.