|05 July 2011|
Marcin Gortat has announced his intention to play for Poland at the EuroBasket in Lithuania.
The 2.13m Phoenix Suns center has returned to Europe from the United States and revealed he will suit up for the Poles when they play in Group A against Spain, Turkey, Lithuania, Great Britain and a team that comes from the Additional Qualifying Round.
"I'll be playing in the Polish squad," Gortat said on Monday.
"The condition, however, is that the Polish Basketball Federation pay the insurance which the Phoenix Suns provide me but doesn't apply during the lockout."
The NBA owners locked out their players and suspended league operations last week following the expiration of their collective bargaining agreement.
Polish Basketball Federation president Grzegorz Bachanski was understandably pleased with the announcement by Gortat.
"It is very good news, but coming from Marcin Gortat we did not expect otherwise because I know that Polish basketball for him is very high on the hierarchy of values," Bachanski said.
Gortat was among the prominent faces of EuroBasket 2009, which was staged in Poland and some of the games were played in his hometown of Lodz, which is there the EuroBasket Women was just held.
The 27-year-old averaged 18 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game last year in eight games for Poland during their Division A campaign.
New Poland coach Ales Pipan won't have a pair of twin towers in his line-up, however, after disclosing that Maciej Lampe will miss the EuroBasket in Lithuania for personal reasons.