|11 August 2011|
Poland have announced that center Marcin Gortat will not play at the EuroBasket after the federation's failure to acquire an insurance policy the NBA center needed to take part in the competition.
The Phoenix Suns big man, who thrilled the home crowds at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland, is a direct casualty of the NBA lockout.
One of the consequences of the lockout - a labor dispute between the NBA team owners and players that began at the start of the summer - was a shutdown in league operations.
And that meant the burden of acquiring insurance for players fell on the federations.
In a statement on the Polish Basketball Federation's website, Gortat expressed his regret over the situation.
"I want and I'm always ready to play in the Polish national team," Gortat said.
"The (federation) president Grzegorz Bachanski has prepared a project for many years.
"Personally, I declare full support for the Polish Basketball Association and our staff in the coming years.
"This year we have a really great group of players and a nice coach.
"I deeply regret that I cannot play with them, but it would be too great a risk.
"I hope everybody understands.
"I'll keep my fingers crossed for them at the EuroBasket.
"I believe they will do everything to achieve a good result."
Poland will play in Group A against Spain, Turkey, Lithuania, Great Britain and one of the two sides that makes it to the EuroBasket from the Additional Qualifying Round - Portugal, Finland or Hungary.
Bachanski said: "Marcin really wanted to play but the situation that occurred this year, I of course mean the lockout, meant that this is not possible.
"Of course it is sad for us, but I am trying to think more broadly in the next few years.
"And Marcin Gortat in the future will be needed."