After contracting mono in November, junior Toby Hegner felt as though he had let his team down. It sidelined him for much of the high school season.
The six-foot-nine versatile forward from Wisconsin has shown this spring that he's fully back from the ailment.
"I've been concentrating on shooting and a lot of post moves," Hegner said. "The main thing I'm looking to concentrate on right now is strength. I have a personal trainer that I work out with twice a week. But like all good players, they work on all parts of their game every day of the week. I don't really take a specific part out of what I'm working out the most because I try to even it out. I want to be so versatile that I want to have it all be good."
Having this be Hegner's last go-around on the AAU circuit has created some added motivation to work hard in the gym.
"It's something I've thought about a lot," Hegner said. "It's my last AAU season and the last time playing with the boys. It's a big motivation step. It's like, 'Let's go! Let's finish on a high note'. It's pushed me to hit the gym some mornings and some evenings. I want our team to do well."
With 16 offers currently on the table, Hegner's just happy he's in this situation.
"I'm truly blessed," he said. "I go to bed thinking how I'm a child that can live this dream. You're going to college for free and not many children get to live this dream. . .when I wake up, I just say, 'Let's step it up. Let's go'."
"I'm going to visit [SLU] in June," Hegner said. "They called me and offered me. I'm hoping they're going to use their call this month. I was really impressed. The guys knew what they were talking about and they were a lot of fun to talk to."
Hegner said he will likely take visits to Nebraska, Boston College, and Creighton, but nothing formal has been created.
"It's going to be the style of play," he said. "You want to fit in and you want to know you're going to do something. I'd really like to play all four years. I'd sit the bench if I need to, but I have a passion for the game. I also look for a relationship with the coaches. That's what I'm keying my decision on."
Despite being a big man, he possesses a strong ability to get out on the perimeter and knock down the open jump shot. That's something he'd like to continue to bring to the college level.
"I love to pick-and-pop," Hegner said. "Me and Matt Thomas [an AAU teammate] love to do that. I love playing with Matt. I'd like to look at it and be like, 'Sweet. This is what I'm running for the next four years.'"
Ideally, Hegner said he wants to have a choice out of the way by July or August so he can concentrate on the high school season and enjoying his senior year with his friends and teammates.
"I'm just going to go out and have fun my last year," Hegner said. "I've noticed when you have fun, you play ten times better. I just want to help my school out and go out with a big bang."