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Former Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski gets opportunity to resume pro career

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 17, 2020

Przemek Karnowski greets fans at a rally for Gonzaga's team after the Zags advanced to the 2017 national championship game.  (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Przemek Karnowski greets fans at a rally for Gonzaga's team after the Zags advanced to the 2017 national championship game. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Former Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski, who has battled injuries the last couple of seasons, has an opportunity to return to professional basketball.

The 7-foot-1 Karnowski is trying out with Stelmet Enea in his native Poland, the team announced. He went through medical exams with Stelmet and received positive results.

“I am now fully healthy,” Karnowski said in a team release. “I have really tedious rehabilitation behind me. It will take me the first few weeks to introduce myself to the game because I haven’t played basketball all year long and I haven’t had the opportunity to play in contact with other players.”

Stelmet coach Zan Tabak will be “closely watching” Karnowski for the next few days, according to the release.

Karnowski, 26, last played for Polski Cukier in his hometown of Torun, about a 3½-hour drive from Zielona Gora-based Stelmet. Former Gonzaga teammate Josh Perkins signed with GTK Gliwice, which is scheduled to face Stelmet on Sept. 11. Stelmet’s first game is Aug. 29.

“It’s a great feeling that I can go back to what I love, which is basketball,” Karnowski said. “I am glad that I can be here and I hope that I will be able to help the team on the court.”

Karnowski played in 152 games, including 118 starts, in his five years at Gonzaga. He finished with a career average of 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds. He’s the NCAA’s all-time leader in wins with 137.

McClellan returns to Austria

Former Zag guard Eric McClellan is returning to Austria for a second season with the Kapfenberg Bulls, the team announced.

McClellan averaged 13.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season and posted a triple-double in a tournament semifinal game. He’s projected as the Bulls’ starting point guard.

McClellan joined Kapfenberg last November shortly after last season began, teaming up with former Gonzaga teammate Jeremy Jones. Jones will play for Hakro Merlins in Crailsheim, Germany, this year.

Other former Zags signed to play professionally include Kyle Wiltjer (Turkey), Kevin Pangos (Russia), Ryan Woolridge (Germany), J.P. Batista (Brazil) and Austin Daye (Italy).

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