There is one player in NCAA men’s basketball who knows a thing or two about winning. That is former Gonzaga big man, Przemek Karnowski. The 7-foot-1 center had a successful collegiate career at Gonzaga, and his name will always be remembered at the school.
Karnowski went on to play professionally overseas after his time at Gonzaga, but for now, he gets to say he won the most games in college basketball as a player.
Przemek Karnowski college career
Karnowski, a native of Poland, chose Gonzaga over California. During his freshman year, he was a backup center behind current NBA player Kelly Olynyk. Gonzaga has emerged into one of the top basketball schools in the NCAA over the past few years, and the school attracts a lot of talent from outside of the country.
In his freshman season, Karnowski played in 34 games and averaged 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He made the WCC All-Freshman Team. The next season he came the starting center and averaged 10.4 points and seven rebounds. Karnowski was a big help to Gonzaga’s offense and defense with his size. Defenders had a tough time trying to stay in front of him, especially in the paint.
Going into his junior season, Karnowski continued to have an impact on the team. Gonzaga continued to be one of the top teams in college basketball. Karnowski averaged 11 points and 5.8 rebounds his junior year. He was named First-Team All-WCC for the first time in his career after his junior season. Going into his final year, he faced some setbacks. Karnowski had to get surgery on his back and only played five games his senior year. He would receive a medical redshirt and came back for one more season.
Przemek Karnowski’s final season going out on top
During the 2016-17 season, he helped Gonzaga have the best start in school history. The team went 29-0 during the season. In February of 2017, he became the career leader in wins for Gonzaga. He would also become the active leader in Division I basketball games played with 143, and he would later be surpassed by Nigel Hayes of Wisconsin and Amile Jefferson of Duke. Playing in that many games throughout your career as a college athlete can take a toll on your body, but Karnowski continued to put the work in and perform at a high level.
After the 2017 West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, Karnowski became the NCAA’s career leader in wins with 132, surpassing Shane Battier, who had 131. There was a lot of research that had to be done to make sure that Karnowski had the record. He finished his college career with a total of 136 wins.
Przemek Karnowski’s professional career
Karnowski went undrafted during the 2017 NBA draft despite having an amazing college career. He joined the Charlotte Hornets for the 2017 NBA Summer League. After competing in the Summer League, he agreed on terms with the Spanish Liga ACB team MoraBanc Andorra.
After one season with the team, he returned to Poland’s home country and signed with Twarde Pierniki Torun of the Polish Basketball League. It’s good to see that Karnowski continues to play basketball and even better that he’s back in his home country. He won a lot of games as a college basketball player, and he will never forget the experience he had.