Aug 15, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - Former UT Arlington basketball player Karol Gruszecki is set to begin his professional career after signing with Belgacom Spirou Basket of Belgium.
"I am extremely happy for Karol," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said. "He ended up being our 'Go To' player towards the end of the year, and he has always been the guy that really puts in the time and work to be an outstanding shooter."
Gruszecki, a Lodz, Poland native, transferred to UT Arlington from North Platte Community College in Nebraska.
"It's a great feeling to know that all the dedication and hard work that I put in with the Mavericks is paying off," Gruszecki said. "Without the coaching and support from all my teammates and fans I don't think that I would be in the wonderful position that I am in now. Playing for such a great team like Belgacom Spirou is a rare opportunity and gives me even more motivation to keep working hard."
He helped lead the team to back-to-back postseason appearances, and was named to the All-WAC tournament team as a senior.
"Through the past two years at UTA I definitely became a better player and a better person. The nurturing environment that the Mavericks created gave me the motivation and drive through practices and the games. I believe the coaches did a great job working with me on my weaknesses, getting tougher and more mature on and off the court. I also had a chance to play with and compete against some great players.
Euroleague.net refers to Gruszecki as a "promising shooting guard" which he proved while scoring in double figures his final eight games with the Mavericks.
"On most days, he would shoot 500-1,000 shots on his own before or after practice," Cross said. "He also worked very hard to become a very good defender for us. He has improved as much as any player that I have ever coached and I have no doubt that his best basketball is still in front of him.
"I really believe that he will have a long, long professional basketball career and will do some amazing things in the very near future. I just wish we had him for another year here at UT Arlington."
Even though Belgacom Spirou coming off back-to-back title-free seasons, the club remains a Belgian top team and the most decorated Belgian club with 10 titles in the past two decades.
"Thanks to the opportunity that was given to me, I am able to live the dream of playing at the next level," Gruszecki said. "Every day my teammates helped me and challenged me in every aspect of the game and this is where my skills improved significantly. Playing for a professional team is something I was looking forward to ever since I started playing basketball. I am grateful to the people who supported me and had positive influences in my life.
"I'm going to look back at my years at UTA and always know that no matter what uniform I'm wearing on the outside, I'll always be Maverick on the inside."
MBB: Hervey named Sun Belt Player of the Week
MBB: Late-Game Defense Pushes Mavs to 81-71 Win
MBB: UTA ready for another tough road test
MBB: Neal 3-Pointer lifts UTA past Georgia State
MBB: Key weekend in Georgia for UTA hoops
MBB: Mavs Motor into First with 71-55 Win