After spending a month competing with and against some of the best young basketball players in the world, Mike Tobey returned from Prague to Charlottesville with a gold medal in hand and a new level of confidence.
Tobey played for the U.S. team that won gold at the FIBA World Championships in Prague. Team USA went undefeated in the tournament, a perfect 9-0, and beat Serbia 82-68 in the championship game.
"The gold medal ceremony was probably the most memorable for me," Tobey said of time in the Czech Republic. "Standing on the stage, they put that gold medal around you, it reminded me of the Olympics. I mean obviously it wasn't the Olympics, but it was definitely awesome, and they played the National Anthem and it was emotional."
Tobey called the experience a "confidence booster," adding that just being selected for the team gave him a new level of confidence. He went on to average 4.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg in just under 10 minutes-per-game.
"I definitely feel like I just improved in knowing what I have do in order to be more successful."
Tobey finished tied with Jahlil Okafor as Team USA's leading rebounders. "My rebounding throughout this experience has gotten a lot better, just playing and practicing with those big guys and just having to be more physical and box out," Tobey said.
"It showed in some of the games when I was able to go in and get a lot more rebounds. Hopefully I can carry that into next season."
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