BY JOHN REED
SC Staff Writer
After starting the season on an incredible twenty-game winning streak, the ESU Men’s basketball team suffered their first loss of the season to Lock Haven on a last second layup last Thursday, February 6.
The lone blemish seems like a minor hiccup as they responded with a blowout victory over Millersville just two days later, upping their record to 21-1.
“It’s definitely a special feeling and very exciting,” said Junior Guard Matt Tobin.
“It’s a great start, but that’s all it is right now and we have to finish strong.”
A Hopatcong, NJ native, Tobin began playing basketball at five years old, which allowed him to absorb the basic fundamentals early on that influenced his game.
“My upbringing definitely had something to do with my style of play,” he said.
“Everyone in my family played basketball and I was around it all my life.”
While playing at Hopatcong high school, he was a three-time All-Sussex County and third team All-State, as a senior.
Tobin led the Chiefs to the North Jersey Athletic Conference championship in his junior and senior seasons.
His talents were not relegated to the basketball court, as Tobin also lettered in baseball while attending Hopatcong.
He was .300+ hitter during his two seasons as the team’s second baseman and also won the team’s most improved player award.
While here at East Stroudsburg University, Tobin decided to focus his athletic talents solely on the basketball court.
“Basketball was always my first love,” confessed Tobin.
“I always considered baseball my secondary sport. I never pictured myself going to college for it.”
He owns the county scoring record at 2,350 total points, which broke the previous record of 2,287 points held by former Ohio State player Christ Jent.
Tobin easily matched, then surpassed, this astronomical point total by averaging double-digits all four years at Hopatcong.
His four-year averages are impressive, in which he matched or increased his points-per-game totals every season.
Tobin believes his family played a crucial role in his development as a basketball player.
“I owe all of my success to my brother and dad. They taught me everything I know and my brother always let me tag along with his older friends and helped me become the best player that I could be.”
Being a whiz on the basketball court did not interfere with Tobin succeeding in the classroom.
Coming out of high school he was given the Scholar-Athlete award and was a member of the National Honor Society.
“In academics, my mom is my biggest influence. She stays on me and makes sure I do my work so I can succeed later in life,” remarked Tobin.
“In athletics, my dad has been my biggest encouragement. He is always trying to coach me and make me the best player I can be.”
Heading into Wednesday’s game against Shippensburg, Tobin is averaging 9.4 points and 5.8 assists.
His per-game assist total leads the PSAC, but even more impressive is his league-leading assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.6.
“I try to take after Chris Paul,” Tobin explained.
“He is a great leader and runs his team.”
Heading into his senior year, Tobin hopes to graduate with a degree in Business Management and he is already eyeing his future with plans for basketball to remain an integral part of his life.
“I hope to get into business with my uncle and become a coach of some sort,” Tobin explained.
“Basketball has played such a big part of my life and I wouldn’t be able to not do something with basketball later in life.”
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