By Rafal Juc
In his last game of season 2011/12 Przemyslaw Karnowski did real show. Polish big man with career-high 35 points led Siarka Tarnobrzeg to win over AZS Politechnika Warsaw in Legionowo Arena (92-81). Eurohopes staff was there. Since first minute of game 19-years old Karnowski was very active on both ends. He literally dominated paint. Only in first quarter polish big man went for 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. All in all, he finished with 35 points on 17/18 FG, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 35 minutes of action. Karnowski impressed with smooth and fluid moves, running very to fast breaks. However, he was just unstoppable in positional attack, posting up well on low-post and finishing off the glass with either hands after pivots and spin moves. Listed at 7'0'' Karnowski showed great body coordination and impressive -by European standards- footwork, what allowed him to rolling aggressively to the basket after screens or cutting off really often over this game.
For 19-years old center it was last of game season 2011/12. In his first year on the highest domestic level Karnowski played in 35 competitions, starting 18 of them. Being one of the youngest players in all Tauron Basket Liga, polish prospect finished with averages of 10.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.3 assists and 1.2 blocks in 25 minutes per game. After this record game Eurohopes staff interviewed Karnowski, asking about his experiences and impressions of first professional season, improvement, strengths and weaknesses, aims for future and next season.
-Because of injuries of two centers, AZS Politechnika was forced to finish season without any classic big men. In addition it seemed that your teammates were obligated to passing you ball. So was there any plan to help you to beat your records to finish season strongly?
No, there was nothing like that. We just played our game. But I have to say thanks to all my teammates, because they used me well in this game. First of all, I feel very happy about this win, because it caused that we finished season on 10th position. Polpharma Starogard Gdanski heavily chased us, but we have shown that we’re better. It’s great feeling!
-Season 2011/12 just has finished. Could you briefly summarize it?
First of all, I have never expected to get so many minutes on court in my first season on the highest domestic level. Coach Dariusz Szczubial trusted me all the time and I was getting a lot of opportunities. I just tried to give my best and fight for all. As team we managed. In first part of season we fought for locate in top8, but many of our players caught up injuries, what forced us to finish season in seven. Taking this into account, it is clear that it was good year.
-How satisfied are you with your game? Which aspects of game worked well and which you still have to improve?
I’m really happy that I was able to fight with this all older and stronger centers, much older than me. I am still very young player, look how I look and have much work ahead me. In my game lacked certainly better rebounding, I could also be better on free throw line and play more often back to the basket. It all can still catch up. I’m really happy to that I lost 6 kilos on weight. I think I need to lose 6-8 more kilos and it would be very good. My most important goal for next years is lose weight and add muscles. Looking at my attitude in the light of all the games, I kept a solid level.
-What now will be with you? Was it your last game in Tauron Basket Liga?
At this moment, I don’t have any idea. As everyone knows I’m wondering coming over to join NCAA and for this purpose some time ago I passed all American exams to be eligible academically. I think that I will decide some time after graduation, when I will be able to think calmly.
-In view of this, are you planning to make a visit to USA and see any campuses?
After passing all my high school exams, I would go to the USA. I’m planning to cut my list to the best three colleges and visit their campuses. It would be for sure only the best options and finally I will choose one of them. Honesty at this moment, I have no idea yet what schools it will be. Now before me there are meetings with American coaches as well as long conversations with parents. We’ll see.
-Word on street is that Gonzaga is your main option. Is it true?
Gonzaga is one of those schools that are interested in me. I am also interested in them. There is still 5-6 schools, with whom I am still in contact. Everything is still open. I want especially to commit to team based on inside the paint game. Would love to get much balls on low-post and being able to be responsible for offensive game of this team.
Twitter of the author: @rafjuc
-Karnowski and his basketball family (28/1/12): link.
-Karnowski, the U18 FIBA All Star MVP (18/9/11): link.
-Karnowski to Eurohopes: "NCAA should be the best option for me" (21/11/11): link.
Photo: Agencja Gazeta