Gonzaga University men’s assistant basketball coach Tommy Lloyd recruited 7-foot-1 Polish center Przemek Karnowski for two years. Late in the process, several high-powered programs tried to get involved, including Duke, Kansas and Marquette.
Lloyd remained confident.
“I really wasn’t worried,” he said. “I think he felt very strongly about his feelings for Gonzaga and how we expressed our interest in him. It all came down to what the kid felt in his heart and he never strayed from that.”
Karnowski, whose first name is pronounced “Puh-shemick,” followed up last week’s oral commitment by signing a letter of intent to play for the Bulldogs. He’s expected to arrive on campus in August.
“He’s a player we have targeted for the past two seasons,” head coach Mark Few said in a Gonzaga release. “His combination of size and skill will allow him to contribute to our team next year. He is an individual of exceptional character and will fit well into the Zags mold.”
Karnowski, 19, has played on several Polish junior national teams and will likely be on the country’s U-20 team this summer. With Lloyd in attendance watching Canada’s Kevin Pangos at the U-17 world championships in Hamburg, Germany, Karnowski scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds in Poland’s win over Canada. Pangos, the WCC Freshman of the Year for Gonzaga last season, had 22 points and nine rebounds. Both players made the All-Tournament Five team.
Karnowski averaged 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in the FIBA U-19 world championships last summer.
“He’s got great size and great hands,” Lloyd said. “He catches everything. He has a good understanding of how to play and he has a good feel for the game. He’s a really good player is what he is.”