As the NorthWood boys basketball team prepares to play in the 3A regionals this weekend, this week's outstanding student-athlete gives the Panthers a great chance to advance.
Somewhere, lost to the internet, are NorthWood senior Zach Zurcher's debut performances. And not on the basketball court.
"My brother and I, and my cousins, we used to make videos on YouTube," Zurcher says.
"Very non-emotional when he's playing," says NorthWood head coach Aaron Wolfe. "But he's got a great sense of humor."
"Pretty sure they're all gone," adds Zurcher. "Just because they're embarrassing now."
These days, Zurcher is busy putting on a show of a different kind. The forward leads the 21-2 Panthers in scoring 19.5 points per game.
And he is a model of efficiency. Zurcher shoots 60.6 percent from the field, and almost 46.6 percent from 3-point range.
Zurcher is a longtime Pacers fan but aims to play like an Eastern Conference rival.
"I try to model my game after LeBron James," Zurcher says of the Miami Heat star. "He's the ideal versatile player, so that's what I try to strive for."
"He can guard almost all five positions," says Wolfe. "He can play almost all five positions on the floor. He's a very good shooter, he can post-up, he can score on multiple levels on the floor. Just makes him a tough matchup for other teams."
NorthWood has one Regional title in program history 2007. But Zurcher and his fellow Panthers, who face Bishop Dwenger in the Class 3A Regional at Blackford on Saturday, have designs on much more.
"Our goal is to win a state championship," says Zurcher. "Hopefully, we can get it done this weekend and get a step closer."