Graphic: Mārtiņš Zaļūksnis
Polski Cukier Start Lublin will return to the European North Basketball league in the season 2023-2024.
The first half of 2023 marked many firsts for Lublin basketball.
Men`s team reached the Polish Cup final for the second consecutive year.
Artur Gronek`s men during the ENBL debut season won the Group A, defeated the Israeli State Cup semifinalist Ironi Ness Ziona in the best-of-two quarterfinal series and advanced to the Final Four.
Polski Cukier Start Lublin prevailed over the next Polish champion King Szczecin to claim maiden bronze at the 2023 ENBL Final Four.
Women`s team won the Polish championship after a 3-2 battle against the EuroLeague Women squad Polkowice.
Young and ambitious Lublin will chase more silverware next season.
Artur Gronek remains at the helm of the men`s team just before the 70 year anniversary of the club (1953-2023).
Start Lublin will celebrate its anniversary in September.
The special guest will be legendary Kent Washington – first African American player in the history of Polish basketball.
Washington arrived to Lublin in January 1979.
He was brought to the team by the famous coach Zdzisław Niedziela.
At that time, the Start matches were watched by three thousand people, as everyone wanted to see Kent in action.
Lublin experienced "kentomania", and Start won match after match, achieving excellent results.
Coach Niedziela based the team's game on Washington, thanks to which the red and black team won the bronze medals of the Polish Championships twice.
Kent currently lives in his hometown of New Rochelle, New York.
In 2022, he published a book entitled "Kentomania: A Black Basketball Virtuoso in Communist Poland", in which he wrote down his memories. The publication is being translated into Polish.
In September, Washington will arrive in Poland for the first time in 40 years.
Polski Cukier Start Lublin announced several new players, starting from June 15.
Experienced forward Filip Put signed a two year contract.
He is a vice champion of Poland and a Polish Cup winner.
Lublin also signed a one year contract with Croatian forward Tomislav Gabrič.
A U16 and U18 European champion played for coach Gronek at Astoria Bydgoszcz (2020-2021).
The latest addition – American point guard Jabril Durham.
DeSoto, Texas native is a graduate of the Arkansas Razorbacks.