Polish center Przemyslaw Karnowski was named MVP of the U18 All Star Game at the 2011 EuroBasket. heinnews’s David Hein caught up with Karnowski after the game to talk about Poland’s long last three summers, a disappointing sixth place finish at the U18 European Championship and why he wants to go to college in the United States.
heinnews: Congratulations on winning the MVP of the U18 All Star Game. How does that feel?
Karnowski: We had a close game and it was a good fight. And I feel like this is an honor for me to win this.
heinnews: This summer Poland hosted the U18 European Championship, which was your fifth youth tournament – European and worlds – in the last three summers. And now you are here at the U18 All Star Game. What do you think about this whole summer?
Karnowski: We had a very busy summer. After the U19 World Championship we had the U18 European Championship in our country. We had so many guys but we had to try to do the best as we can. That was very good for us. And this game too. A lot of people came here to cheer for us.
heinnews: How tired were you and the Polish team at the U18s?
Karnowski: After the European Championship I had a lot of rest. After about one month I went back to training and practice. Now I feel okay.
heinnews: Looking back, Poland finished sixth at home at the U18 European Championship. Many thought your team could maybe even win the title. Was the finish disappointing?
Karnowski: For the tournament, we are really sad. We wanted to play the best we could. We had a tough game against Italy and just eliminated us in the quarter-finals. They played really good.
heinnews: You are going to play this season at Siarka Jezioro Tarnobzeg of the Polish top league PLK. What are your expectations going there?
Karnowski: It will be a hard season. We will have about 40 games before the playoffs. We just have to play as well as we can, and hopefully we can make the playoffs.
heinnews: And what about your personal expectations as a young player coming into the team?
Karnowski: I want to contribute as much as I can. I really want to improve my body so much because I have baby fat. That is my target for the season.
heinnews: Besides on improving your body, what aspects of your game are you working on right now?
Karnowski: There are so many things I have to work on. My right hand is not so good. I have to run fast. I need to screen better. Everything.
heinnews: I have read you are thinking about going to college in the United States. Is that still the plan?
Karnowski: Yeah, yeah, because I didn’t sign a pro contract with Tarnobzeg I am able to go to the NCAA. Everything is open.
heinnews: Do you know where you’re going to go?
Karnowski: I still don’t know.
heinnews: Any leading contenders?
Karnowski: I don’t really want to talk about it, but there are a few colleges who would want me.
heinnews: What is the main purpose of going to the U.S. and college?
Karnowski: I think in the U.S. I can improve my body so much better than in Poland. That is the main option.
heinnews: Okay, thanks a lot and good luck in the future
Karnowski: Thanks a lot.