By Antonis Stroggylakis / [email protected]
If there’s a person that’s maybe even more excited than Mike Tobey for his first-ever participation in the Olympic Games, that’s Mrs. and Mr. Tobey back in the States. His parents, who are now fully geared up with the right equipment to cheer for their son.
“I FaceTimed my family and my mom showed me that they already bought a Slovenian flag,” Tobey told Eurohoops while traveling back to Slovenia and the national team camp following a short trip to Spain. “A Slovenian flag and the Olympic flag. They are ready to go.”
“They are going to hang the Slovenian flag outside the house during the whole Olympic tournament. Our neighbors are going to be confused but it’s great. They will hear yelling and all in a weird time because of the time difference, but they’ll figure it out,” Tobey added with a chuckle.
Enthusiasm, anticipation and other similar emotions run rampant with the Tobeys, less than two weeks before Mike parades around the Japan National Stadium as an Olympian. The 26-year-old center of Valencia is heading to Tokyo as the naturalized player of the Slovenian national team following a triumphant run in the Kaunas Qualifying Tournament that was capped with an upset over host Lithuania in the Final.
Tobey averaged 15.0 points (shooting 6-9 3-pointers in the semifinal and final) and 7.5 rebounds for 20.5 PIR in Kaunas to help Slovenia reach the Olympics for the first time ever. He ranked second in these categories for Slovenia behind only the phenomenon that is Luka Doncic.
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