It has been a special time for Romanian Basketball Federation President Carmen Tocala.
She is presiding over the federation’s organisation of an international men’s basketball competition for the first time in the country’s history while at the same time watching her son, Vlad Moldoveanu, star for the home team at the UMCOR U18 European Championship Division B in Sibiu.
Both mother and son performed exceptionally well on the international stage.
Moldoveanu led Romania’s charge to the gold medal and was named MVP, while Tocala's leadership led to a smooth running of the competition.
“I am happy that there haven’t been really any major complaints from the participating teams,” said Tocala.
|Vlad Moldoveanu led Romania's to the gold medal.|
“We are trying to have the best quality possible. We must respect ourselves and show what we can do for Romania.”
“We have had excellent crowds and national television coverage so hopefully this will get more kids involved in basketball. This competition is a great education for both future players and authorities.”
Tocala’s leadership over the past year and half since she was elected President has been noticed by many, including her son.
“She has had a lot to prove and the organisation of this championship was one the first major things she wanted to do to improve the image of basketball here in Romania,” said Moldoveanu.
“As you can see by the crowds at our game, she is been doing quite well.”
Tocala played for the Romanian national team for 20 years and was also a coach.
The transition to President hasn’t always been easy.
“In the beginning I think I did face discrimination because some people wouldn’t want to come to me as a woman but not so much anymore,” she said.
“It is a learning process and I have to learn from my mistakes too.”
Despite her responsibilities, Tocala hasn’t taken time out from being a mother and supporting her son.
What has impressed Tocala is her son’s maturity.
“After high school he has the chance to play professionally in Romania or other parts of Europe and make a lot of money, but he told me that he would rather get an education,” she said.
“He told me that he wants to study and get an education both on the court and in academics. He says that if God wants him to earn money playing basketball, he will live long enough to have that possibility. He is a very clever and mature kid.”
|Moldoveanu is a solid defensive player and a strong rebounder.|
Moldoveanu will play his final year of high school in the United States at St. Johns High School in Washington DC and then will be looking to attend a top NCAA program.
West Virginia, Kentucky and Wake Forest are all possibilities.
As for Moldoveanu, he is relishing the unique opportunity of playing on home soil and in front of his mother.
“I want to make my mom happy, my team happy and my country happy,” he said earlier in the competition.
Moldoveanu certainly accomplished his goal, as evidenced by the celebration taking place among Romanian basketball fans and the tears of joy flowing from Tocala's eyes following Romania's gold medal victory and Moldoveanu's selection as MVP earlier this evening.