Robinson sophomore wins gold medal in Austria at basketball World Games

Published: Jul. 2, 2023 at 11:28 AM CDT
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ROBINSON, Texas (KWTX) - Robinson High sophomore Oren Woodard just got back from a trip of a lifetime.

Woodard had the chance to represent Team USA with PhD Hoops at the United World Games, all because he followed up on an email.

“I was in class one day and I saw a random email come to my phone,” said Woodard. “It said PhD hoops, you could be selected to have a once in a lifetime trip. I was like what? And out of a pool of 1,800 people, I got selected.”

The tournament took place in Klagenfurt, Austria, and it was Woodard’s first time leaving the country.

“The farthest I’ve gone is probably Florida,” said Woodard. “Well now, it’s across the world.”

When they returned, Woodard and the rest of Team USA came back with gold medals around their necks after only practicing together twice before the tournament began.

“To think that these nine kids on this team just gathered for six hours and practiced and learned to play together,” said Woodard’s mom Shelley Chaney. “It’s amazing.”

In Woodard’s freshman season at Robinson, the Rockets failed to win a district game, but after getting the opportunity to play overseas, Woodard plans on using this experience to help the Rockets catch the rebound.

“I will take the experience of playing harder teams back here,” said Woodard. “There are some tough teams here, like Connally and China Spring. They’ve got some rough players, some D-1 athletes, and it would be good to beat them this time, and to go to the playoffs.”

Even Woodard’s mom said that after this trip, her son is much more confident than before.

“He’s a lot better than he thinks he is, he’s great,” said Chaney. “He believes more now in himself than what he used to.”