Cavaliers on Team USA Going for Gold

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

Mike Tobey, Tony Bennett, and the rest of Team USA are on their way to Prague, Czech Republic for the FIBA U19 World Championships.

The Cavalier rising sophomore and his coach, who's serving as an assistant on the team under Billy Donovan, are both hoping to bring back more than just some good stories from their trip.

"All the coaches talk about how if we go over there and don't get the gold, like I guess in their eyes, we've failed," Tobey said of the need to win. The UVa center/forward added there's "a little bit of pressure, but I guess that's the standard of the U.S."

Team USA has won four gold medals in 10 trips to the U19 World Championships, but three of those came in 1979, 1983, and 1991. Since then, the U.S. has only won once, in 2009, which is one motivating factor for this year's squad.

"To know, for these guys, only one gold medal in about 20 years for this Under-19 World Championship, to do something that not many teams have done would make it that much sweeter," said Bennett. He added, laughing, "Gold looks better than silver or bronze in my house, so I'll take that."

Tobey says the chance to bring back a gold medal is a once in a lifetime experience. "Not in a million years I thought this opportunity would ever come for me, so I'd be honored, and I would definitely frame it or something like that."

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