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IOWA CITY — Filip Rebraca has seen a wide range of basketball talent over the last month.
The 6-foot-9 Iowa forward played at Iowa’s recreation center against ordinary students.
“I don't go there a lot anymore because I was trying to up my competition,” Rebraca said.
On the other end of the difficulty spectrum, he also has played against other college basketball players at Court 45 in North Liberty.
It’s part of his effort to improve and gain confidence after a season where he started all 36 games and averaged 5.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
“I wasn't satisfied with how I played this year,” Rebraca said. “I just kind of conformed to a role when I saw it wasn’t going too well for me.”
It’s clear rebuilding confidence is a priority for the Serbia native.
“I feel like that was the biggest key to my game that was missing last year,” Rebraca said.
Confidence came up a lot in the five-plus-minute interview Thursday.
“I feel like I’ve said confidence in this little, short interview 30 times,” Rebraca said with a laugh.
Another goal is to bulk up after weighing 230 pounds in 2021-22.
“I feel like I can bump that up a little bit,” Rebraca said. “Not sure what my exact goal is for right now.”
At 230 pounds, he was sometimes significantly undersized in Big Ten competition. Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, for example, weighed 285 pounds. Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson weighed 260 pounds.
Rebraca won’t miss Cockburn, who recently declared for the NBA Draft, too much.
“The whole league is quietly very (much) celebrating that he’s gone,” Rebraca said.
Some of Rebraca’s offseason work will happen back home in Serbia although he still is figuring out the timing of that trip. He’ll work out with his father, who played basketball professionally for 16 years, and at a facility where some Serbian NBA players work out.
Before then, he’s already noticing a difference since March.
“In this short amount of time, I feel like I made strides — huge strides — in my confidence,” Rebraca said before the team’s banquet Thursday night.
Rebraca is “just happy playing basketball,” and his social plans reflect that.
“I'm probably going to go right after this banquet to go play hoops,” Rebraca said.
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