Wizards center Marcin Gortat has made no secret of his rooting interests in the NCAA Tournament. He's been cheering hard for Gonzaga's Polish center Przemek Karnowski, who is his backup on the Polish national basketball team.
And just because the Zags lost in the National Championship last night didn't mean Gortat was done hyping up his friend. After the game went final, the Polish Machine took to Twitter to try to put Karnowski's accomplishments in perspective.
My boi @PKarnowski u made everybody proud in ur country!U r part of great history!U become a great human and ball player! Super proud!!— Marcin Gortat🇵🇱 (@MGortat) April 4, 2017
Karnowski was a big part of Gonzaga's run through the Tournament, both literally (he's 7-1 and 300 pounds) and strategically, using his size and strength in the paint. His bushy beard and mountainous figure made him a kind of playing mascot for the Zags.
Watching the game last night, Gortat and others taped cut-outs in the shape of Karnowski's beard to their faces.
Gonzaga and UNC traded shots within a single-basket margin of each other for most of the super-competitve game, but the Tar Heels found a way to hang on to a lead in the final moments to win. Karnowski couldn't get his shot to fall all evening, hitting only one of eight attempts from the floor.
The 23-year-old senior finished with 9 points (hitting 7 of 9 free throws) and 9 rebounds in the loss.
Whether Karnowski makes it to the NBA now could come down to his build, as Gortat said in an interview with For The Win. But one thing's for sure: He made his countryman proud.
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