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Gielo to Eurohopes: ''We came back this year hungry to win''
By Marti Artigas
1993 Polish generation won the silver medal in the U17 World Championship two summers ago in Hamburg (Germany), and now they are trying to promote the U20 NT to Division "A". Yes. Most of those kids are playing these days in Sofia (Bulgaria) in the U20 Division "B" European Championship showing their upside and skills. At the moment, three victories in three games: +58 (Netherlands), +12 (Belgium) and +34 (FYROM). And one of their important pieces is Tomasz Gielo ('93), currently playing at Liberty (NCAA). 6'7'' power-forward is averaging 11.7 points (58% FG), 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in only 25 minutes. Eurohopes talked with him.   
-Three games and three wins. What are your sensations and also the ones of the team?
First of all we came here with only one goal, which is to advance to Division A. There is a difference between playing here and in Division A. The game is faster and more unpredictable. Our team is really well-balanced. We have a lot of scoring options and most of our players are used to play together, which helps us on the court. We know each other very well from previous years and I think it plays a huge role in our game.
-Last summer much people expected more of the polish 1993 generation than you did in the U18 EC at your country. Does it motivate you in the current tournament?
It does, of course! We wanted to finish higher than a sixth spot in Wroclaw, so we came back this year hungry to win and advance to Division A. We all dream to have one more chance at the highest level and getting one of the first four spots here will give us such opportunity. 
-What do you think are the four teams with more chances to promote to Division A?
Our team is one of them for sure! Haven’t seen a lot of other games live, so I can’t really tell about the other 3 spots, but I believe we are going to be one of the teams that will advance to Division A.
-You landed in Liberty last summer, and now Karnowski will go to Gonzaga. What you can say to the european players that they are thinking of going to the States? Good decision?
Every player is a different story, so I can’t say whether it is always a good decision or not. For me, it was a dream to play college basketball in USA and after a year at LU I feel happy about my decision. Coach Layer and the rest of the coaching staff helped me improve a lot, both on and off the court, as a player and as a person and I am thankful for that. I think Przemek made a good decision too and he will have a great time at Gonzaga.
-What do you expect personally of next couple of years?
First, I want to win all games here in Sofia. I am definitely coming back to Liberty next year and want to have a bigger impact on my team’s game. I want to help my team win the conference and advance to the March Madness. I believe that if I put enough hard work and effort into my goals, I will be able to achieve them. 
Twitter of the author: @marti_artigas
Photo: FIBA


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