Born on October 10 at 10 a.m. and weighing 10 pounds, former Blair Buc Michael Tobey has spent his entire basketball career, from high school to professional leagues, wearing the number 10 on his jersey. Since he secured a spot in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Michael may have just found his new lucky number: 2021.
Blair basketball standout Michael Tobey ’12 secured his place in the Tokyo Olympics after helping the Slovenian national team qualify for the games for the first time in team history, a feat covered by a number of national and international media outlets. Named to the Slovenian roster in June, Michael proved key to bringing the national team to this point. As the team’s second-leading scorer, he averaged 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in the qualifying rounds and scored an impressive 27 points on the July 3 Olympic qualifying tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania. According to Dallas Mavericks' point guard Luka Dončić, who also plays on the Slovenian national team, Michael’s outstanding 12 defensive rebounds proved pivotal in the 96-85 win over Lithuania that secured Slovenia’s Olympic berth.
Dončić praised his teammate’s performance in the clinching game, which included facing off against Lithuanian team and NBA stars Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valančiūnas. “He’s a great defensive guy,” Dončić says of Michael. “He’s really helping us down there.”
A 7-foot-tall center, Michael first gained notoriety at Blair and rose to prominence with the University of Virginia’s Cavaliers, where he played 138 games, a program record, and made three trips to the NCAA tournament. In 2015, the Atlantic Coast Conference named him the Sixth Man of the Year. Currently, Michael is coming off his third season playing in the EuroLeague for Valencia, Spain.
Michael becomes the second Blair Buc to qualify for the Olympics in men’s basketball, joining the elite company of Luol Deng ’03, who played for Great Britain in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Be sure to watch Michael in the Olympics as Slovenia plays Argentina on July 26, Japan on July 29 and Spain on August 1.
On behalf of the Blair community, we congratulate Michael and wish him the best of luck in Tokyo. We are rooting for him!