Poland Can Count On Gortat This Summer

23 May 2012

13. Marcin Gortat (Poland)
Marcin Gortat knows Poland could have fared better at EuroBasket 2011 with him on the team so he wants to make sure they are in Slovenia next year

Marcin Gortat will play for Poland again this summer and do his best to make sure the national team returns to the EuroBasket Final Round in 2013.

The NBA Lockout prevented the Phoenix Suns center from representing his country at EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania, where they beat Portugal and Turkey but did not progress to the second stage of the competition.

He'll be in the squad this year, though, when Poland face Finland, Switzerland, Albania and Belgium in Qualification Round Group E.

"I am coming to this summer very positive and I can assure you that I want to come to the national team and represent our country," Gortat said to

Saying he looks at the qualifying campaign as a chance to make amends for Poland's defeat to Belgium in their vital game for first place in the group in 2010, Gortat said: "For my part, I want to join the team as soon as possible..."

"Now I am already in Poland. I came to the country to take part in family events at which I wanted to appear.

"I'm glad that I can use this time to meet with family. Now we can stay a little time.

"But I'll be here a few days, after which I'll return to Orlando to begin preparations for next season."


The national team will come after Gortat puts in a lot of hours on the court, and in the weight room, back in the USA.

The 'Polish Machine' teamed up often with Phoenix's point guard Steve Nash on the pick-and-roll this year when he grew into a terrific starting center after serving as Dwight Howard's back-up in Orlando.

But Gortat wants to get better.

"I've got to become a better post-up player, I've got to create more fouls, and I'm 100% sure I'm going to have to finish everything around the basket a little bit harder," he told the Arizona Republic newspaper.

"I've got to forget about being a finesse player, I've got to forget that I was able to work out with Hakeem Olajuwon (last summer) and all the Dream Shakes and left and right hooks.

"Sometimes I've got to be a simple basketball player and dunk the ball."

His aims, he says, are "just get better and bigger. That's it, that's the main thing."


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