European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

Living in America: Tomasz Gielo

January 28th, 2012 · No Comments

The Polish forward Tomasz Gielo is a member of the highly talented 1993 generation from the Eastern European country. The 2m04 tall player made a very early commitment to play NCAA Basketball for the Liberty Flames which came a bit by surprise to some people. We spoke to Tomasz on what motivated him to take this direction and how he sees the future of his career.

What made you decide to take the step to the NCAA in your career?

As a kid I always wanted to go to USA and play basketball on the college level, so I’m really happy that this dream came true.

Can you describe a bit more your recruiting process?

In 2010, after two good tournaments (U17 World Championship in Hamburg, where we finished as runner-ups and U18 European Championship in Vilnius, where we earned 6th place and qualified for U19 World Championship) some US schools, including Liberty University showed a lot of interest in recruiting me. I decided to take my chances, took the SAT exam and was invited by Liberty to make an official visit on their campus. I flew to Lynchburg, Virginia and had spent three days there. I really liked the whole university campus and the basketball facilities. We have anything we need to improve, but no one can make you a better player unless are willing to work hard every day.

What are the team goals for this season?

Despite a really tough start of the season due to injuries, when we lost our leading scorer and rebounder, lost another big man for the whole season and some other players, including me (dislocated my right elbow a week before the first game, had a 6 week break) battled with injuries as well our goal remains the same – Win the Big South Conference Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament in March.

What do you expect as personal development over the next years?

This year I really want to improve physically, get a stronger body to compete against tough opponents. Also, I work a lot on my shooting technique and face-up moves. Overall, I think there is a lot of space to improve in every aspect of my game.

Do you know already in what you will be majoring in?

Right before I started my second semester here I decided to major in International Business.

Last summer, you played at the U18 Euro in Poland. How satisfied were you with the results and what are the next steps on the National Team side for you?

We finished at the 6th place, losing badly to Italy in the quarter-finals. For me, it was a disappointing result, I feel we could definitely win a medal in that championship. We beat Serbia earlier in the tournament, who earned silver medals, we also beat Turkey and they got bronze medals, so we could definitely finish higher than a 6th spot. I still want to play for my National Team, it’s an honor to represent your country, so anytime I will get an invitation to the National Team camps, I will accept that!

Your team mates from Poland, Pontika and Karnowski, were also thinking about NCAA one moment. Ponitka signed as a professional but Przemek is still thinking. What can you tell him about NCAA and why should he decide to come to the US?

I am good friends with Przemek, so I already spoke to him several times about United States and college basketball. It’s his decision whether he will play in the NCAA or not, but I would recommend him coming to the States. It’s a great opportunity to improve as a player, play basketball and get education at the same time. And even if you don’t like it, you can come back to Europe and start playing professionally.

Tomasz Gielo currently plays nearly 20 minutes per game for the Flames. He averages 4.7ppg (51.3% FGs), 2.3rpg and 0.3 blocks. We wish him good luck for the rest of the season and all the best for his future career.

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.