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Sports

Boys Basketball: Sam Tumilty's toughness welcome for speedy, undersized Willowbrook

All-State football quarterback will be solid wing man for dynamic guard Everett Stubblefield III

Willowbrook's Sam Tumilty shoots the ball during the Hoop Mountain Summer Shootout at Batavia High School on June 14.
Willowbrook's Sam Tumilty shoots the ball during the Hoop Mountain Summer Shootout at Batavia High School on June 14.

BATAVIA – Sam Tumilty strolled out of the gym with a basketball in hand, a White Sox cap high on his head.

He’s indeed a man for all seasons.

Tumilty, a senior at Willowbrook, was an All-State quarterback last fall. That hasn’t kept him from sticking with baseball and basketball, where he’ll be a key player for the Warriors this season.

Tumilty and Willowbrook’s basketball team were in action this past weekend at the Hoop Mountain Summer Shootout at Batavia.

“It’s just the love of the sports, and the competing, trying to help every team I play on the best I can,” Tumilty said of his commitment to three sports. “I’ve been enjoying it. I like the change in seasons.”

He’s been a busy man in June.

Tumilty goes to basketball practice and baseball in the morning, then football workouts in the afternoon. In the evening, it’s back to basketball.

The schedules work. Willowbrook’s basketball camp just ended and football is about to start.

“It’s been good, playing a lot of basketball, getting our team chemistry down in basketball, getting conditioned,” Tumilty said. “June is a heavy month, so it’s been pretty busy. But it’s good.”

On the football field last fall, Tumilty threw for 2,530 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 1,270 yards and 16 TDs in leading Willowbrook to its second West Suburban Gold title and third straight state quarterfinal appearance.

He had a memorable playoff game in defeat at Batavia, throwing three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lead the Warriors from 17 points down in an overtime loss. Tumilty has no offers yet, but is talking to smaller Division I schools and DIIs and DIIIs for football.

His toughness is welcome on a speedy, but undersized Willowbrook basketball team.

“He brings the leadership, communication, grit and most importantly the toughness. He’s an All-State quarterback,” Willowbrook coach Chris Perkins said. “He adds a lot to our team and helps make us go.”

He’s a nice wingman for Everett Stubblefield III.

Stubblefield, a senior guard, averaged 19.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.1 steals last season, his first full year at the varsity level. He’s one of the most dynamic guards around.

Stubblefield and Tumilty have been Willowbrook’s top two scorers in recent action.

“He’s explosive,” Perkins said of Stubblefield. “He averaged 20 points per game as a junior and he’ll probably increase that to 25. He’s been having a lot of high-scoring games, rounding out his game.”

With Stubblefield and four other players gone for summer school, Willowbrook went 2-1 in the first day at Hoop Mountain, losing by one to Naperville North at the buzzer.

Perkins noted that 6-foot-3 Jeremiah Robinson has been playing great, Jalen Flowers is rounding into form coming off an ACL injury and Sam Bruns is knocking down shots.

“I think we’ll be pretty fast,” Perkins said. “We’re undersized, so we have to play fast. Everybody is just trying to get acclimated to their new roles. We have a nice nucleus. We’re trying to build that continuity with a new group.”

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