The Polish basketball star was the co-organizer and driving force behind the 8th annual Polish Heritage Day in the NBA.
The 34-year old is famous in his home country not just for being a great ball player, but also for being one of the most energetic ambassadors of Polish culture in the United States.
Sunday’s event took place in connection with the game between Gortat’s new team, Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic. Large parts of the arena in Los Angeles was covered in the colors of the Polish red and white flag as hundreds of Poles and Polish-Americans cheered for Gortat and the winning home team. Gortat organized the event together with the Polish National Foundation and the Polish Consulate in Los Angeles. Several Polish musicians, sportstars and actors had been invited to participate in the event which continued following the game. Polish President Andrzej Duda had sent a recorded message to all participants in which he thanked Gortat and the Polish-American community for representing Poland in an honorable way in America.
The day was an opportunity for Gortat and the local Poles to share their culture with the residents of Los Angeles and basketball fans across the US. Polish music was played during the game and afterwards it was possible to taste some Polish food and speak with Polish military veterans from World War 2. Marcin Gortat is praised in Poland for never forgetting about his roots. He has constantly promoted Polish culture in every NBA club he has played for and he is also heavily involved in charity work in Poland, particulary working with the youth through his MG13 Foundation. He has helped to fund four schools which train promising young Polish athletes, dreaming to one day repeat Gortat’s success in the US.