Piotr GRABOwski – Moja historia I My journey to DUNKING ᴴᴰ

My name is Piotr Grabowski What I do is putting the ball into the basket And.. Basketball is..my whole life My adventure with basketball in general started in 2013 It’s a funny story from the beginning because for real it all started in a sandpit, where with my good friend Dominikiem Dąbrowskim who is also my neighbour We were running in the field and.. from what I remember we were trying to do a volcano from saltpeter Somewhere by accident we noticed basketball board installed on the back of the garage It was really low, on the height of our heads So there was on the ground football and we took it… We took it and threw We made few dunks and I felt in love with it Well Piotrek from the beginning was very energetic He had that spark in the eyes He had so much power that it was hard to calm him down There is a lot of stories to tell about him, and what happening Oh these stories When you were young there was always luck of screwdrivers in the house You always were that electrician.., you was supposed to be electrician and now you are athlete He never let me to go somewhere alone, always by side and first only with me So once we went to Radomsko for shopping We entered the shoe shop. Of course like every woman I was interested in shoes At first he was sitting close to me, everything was fine And at one moment… The saleswoman comes to me and says something like this: ,,Madam, you are focused on trying shoes but I won’t be responsible if your kid gets hurt” I look around.. he is not here I say “On my God”, I’m looking through whole shop and then I look and he sits on the highest shelf with boots I stand up and say “Piotruś please come down please” Everyone in the shop were staring as he is standing on the highest shelf I’m asking him and he sits happy and don’t want to come down Of course these were moments when you can get nervous but then as we were back home I was ok and let it go. I used to it We were so interested in basketball, I loved it so much that we started looking for the information about basketball and NBA in the internet It happend automatically Information about NBA, Euroleague, Polish League We found out that we have polish NBA player Marcin Gortat Of course as a result of our internet research. We were reading websites about in general basketball, NBA Of course we took ball, we bought it as I remember we didn’t have basketball So we started going to the near basketball court, as we are living in the countryside the only place we got was the school area It was 2km away from my place. It wasn’t in the best condition So we decided that we will renovate it We were riding a scooter… Try to imagine- on a scooter with ladder, basketball and drill And of course basket height had to be 3,05. Three line we were doing more less same distance as in NBA Of course at that time when I was NBA fan my dream was to play in this league So yeah, the 3 point line had to be obviously same like in NBA

Now the baskets and rims are after renovation. But in the past it used to be just destroyed Once we arrived here by our own and we were drawing lines which now unfortunately you can’t see So we renovated the whole playground, everything was super but one day we arrived and everything was just destroyed There were empty beer bottles, we weren’t laughing at all But we took broom, cleaned it all and started our practice So as we found out about Marcin Gortat it was year in which we was organising his camp in Poland The date was good for us so we could go there. As I remember Dominik got qualified but not me I felt bad, really bad. I wanted it so much So I decided to do anything about it. I found a contest post on Spalding Poland fan page Me as 14 old boy on facebook, I wrote to them that it is super what they are doing by this contest where you can win a participation in Jr. NBA and meet Marcin Gortat I remember that I send there lots of crazy messages. Some dunks on low rim, pictures in front of huge poster with Marcin Gortat Yeah… I was 14 at that time So it looked really funny. I remember as they answered me to wait until the results will be posted Of course it couldn’t be list without me. I was super proud of it and very very very satisfied I think that it was very important moment when I was at that camp Yes It motivated me to continue my development into basketball direction I remember that there was Kacper “Kacpa” Lachowicz. He was leading the warm up We met in really small, very small room he was leading warm up and I remember first time when I remember Piotrek. When I remember meeting with him It was in 2014, I think. So he was there for the weekend training camp. It was in the place which name now I don’t remember, it was somewhere close to Kielce I remember this situation when he was showing some exercises and everyone were doing it First words which he said to me were as I was wearing Lakers shorts and jersey, and Kobe shoes. So as I remember he said: Hey Lakers, you are doing it wrong” I was of course laughing but also a bit like “Kacpa damn Kacpa, before I saw him in the internet, I followed him and he says that I’m doing wrong so I asked what it was about so he explained it to me He was one of 20 participants. Very young boy. Very thin boy. He was focused on asking questions And ready to do anything, but really anything what you can do to become better That marked him out He was modest boy If we would have group like then, around 20 people. I don’t know if anyone would notice him in any reason related with skills So as I said, what made him unique was this curious and being ready to work, but in the aspect of his skills he was just like a one from a group As it’s always on the camps So it marks the amount of work he made, he worked hard, and it raises great respect

Kacper always have his work with direction to motivate That’s why I’m very grateful because… he didnt motivate me a lot to play better but to not give up of course but also to become better person- thank you for that When it comes to my history with basketball and clubs. It wasnt fascinating, it wasnt super cool As the first club where I went was the last one. Radomsko is 15km away so as young boy I didn’t have driving licence, I didn’t have anything My parents as they were often going there so it was my chance to go there and practice My first practice when I came there. In general I was a kid and I had no idea. I took my trainers, as I even didn’t know that basketball shoes exist I didn’t think about it at that age. So I took any sport shoes and water. And I went to practice My from my biggest achievements, if you can even call it achievement is 3 point shoot which I made by accident from 90* reflected a board I don’t know how this ball made it into basket but I scored 3 points. And that would be it About my career in basketball club there is one thing I remember until now it was when I went to my 1st Kacpa camp. And as I was back my coach was angry that I went there instead of Sunday game I went to Kacpa to practice, to learn, from morning till evening. Better than going to the game, where I would get 20 seconds on the court So it didn’t motivate me to play in the club As I mentioned I went for my first Kacpa camp in Sędziszowie and it was 2014 from what I remember It was our longer contact, where from the morning to the evening I could met Kacpa as he was organising practices and everything else So I had a chance to spend more time with him, practically whole days These few days were really, really cool. From what I remember that 1st camp was 3 days long Really, I learn there a lot, about a life in general. He was talking about many things, useful information how to behave, how to respect people and the other person Do you know what was the worst thing in that times? It was stress. How now you can notice, in the beginning of this video- I was a bit nervous but that’s normal, I’m always like that in the front of the camera Back in that times, I had huge problem with stress. At the day when I was going to camp, I couldn’t sleep, I had stomach ache, my legs were like jelly You know why? Just because I was going there to train a bit. I had it messed up in my head. Luckily after few visits I learnt how to deal with stress After both camps I started to be more active on Facebook. Probably few people can remember from it I created few channels with video edits for dunkers and for Kacpa. So I got to know the polish streetball society. I used to spam them a loooot This people know that I have them now in my mind. Lipek, Damian Harsze, Paprot and Kacper

Lots of messages were sent, crazy amounts. So lately I looked at it while searching for some pics and videos for this material I’m really embarrassed for what I was doing. But I was in love with basketball so I was asking everyday “What’s up Damian, dunks made?” “Hello Paprot, how was your dunk session?” At least I was doing something with basketball. It’s my excuse for myself “Hello Rafał. As it’s your birthday I wish you a lot health, happiness and make your plans for 2015 come true. Remember we can achieve everything only by our hard work. Go for it!” In that times pretty important event was Kaliski Streetball so there was no other option that I had to be there So I remember that it was 1st time when i met Damian Harsze, Paprot and others. I don’t remember, there were plenty of people So you know, young boy- laughing, watching dunks. When I saw whole contest I was really surprised of how high you can jump And it was probably the most crucial moment in my life Because after contest I was thinking that reality is that I won’t be any pro basketball player as I was playing around 20 seconds per game. Dunks impressed me a lot. So I put the basketball a bit away and started to train dunks From what I remember at that tournament there was kid zone with really low rim basket So as I used to do some dunks on low rim I started to jump there. I did there from one leg double up over one standing person, it was really low rim Few people were shocked. I thought that it’s really super, and I feel good doing it I felt that I need to start working in that direction. It’s great, I feel super doing it so that’s it By the way, on that event I was so hyped about them, that we were doing with Dominik such frames and we put there the best pictures of Damian and separately Kacper and Lipek So probably they all have it somewhere. So yeah, we were freaks Other memory which I have with Piotrek is when he was really, really young and he had unusual creativity at asking questions, giving different presents- not only for me but also for Lipek or Slash and other guys who he admired You could always get nice picture collage, it was amazing that this young man was so artistically talented This is dunk for Hadzbe So after Kalisz I was still writing to boys. I remember that then Damian started to answer me more He made the 1st jumping programme for me so I slowly started to train. But my training there wasn’t super. I wasn’t best at sports, in school I was the last kid to be chosen to join the team

It wasn’t nice but it used to be like this. I was all thumbs at when it was about sports So I had to search the internet to know what is “box squat”. So I started to do anything with empty barbell, some little weight. So as I had no previous contact with gym, it looked terrible at the beginning So slowly I started to do in that direction Later we started talk with Damian, Of course he told me what I do correct, what I do wrong. I started to visit him, As he also did what I love, he was dunking so I wanted to be in touch with him We started to work out together, jump and I think that he is the person who taught me passion in life to work hard. I used to be really lazy, I never did more that was needed He learnt me passion to work hard. Now when I have a bad day, even with dunking or workout I’m still smiling because even if it’s maybe not always true, I know that I can do my job by work harder. When I go for practice I’m happy. I don’t understand how people can have a problem when they are on their way to practice I’m always happy and start counting in the morning how much time is left to the dunk session or squats Year after the event in Kalisz. I wrote to the organizer that maybe we can make a dunk contest for younger participants on lower rim He took his time and decided that there is place and time so we can make it We did it I prepared myself, I was jumping a lot on low rims. I don’t remember if then I was even able to do a dunk on normal rim, it’s possible that no I was super excited. Of course day of the contest, legs were shaking, I was never so prepared as to that contest I had printed paper with 5 dunks as I remember. I had in my mind what exactly I should do. In real, it was my first show in front of any audience I manage to win, I did few nice dunks. I even did a double up over a kid in 1st attempts- I would say that everything was in 1st attempt So you see what stress, stubbornness and hard work can bring I liked it a lot and that was it Contest after contest, training after training, One year later I was jumping on the low rim, also I manage to win 2 years later I was in qualifications to the main contest and of course I did it And I think it was important moment in my life when I manage to win anything. I wasn’t good at sports in school and finally something was successful, and great that with basketball So I wanted more of it and I pushed myself further I didn’t see other way than development in that direction, I was training. In winter, I cleaned court from the snow and I was dunking In 3-4 hoodies,tracksuit I was jumping. My life was going on same as my trainings

At from that moment I didn’t thought about any other option for my life, doing anything else apart from dunking It was 100% for me, training and dunks. I had no time to think about other options because if I was training, jumping or when not doing it I was watching it or stretching myself, It was my lifestyle: training, jumping, school, learning, work out, watching dunks, sleep and that’s it, that’s it From what I manage to found as I didn’t remember it is that I was such a freak that for my 16th bday I said that I want to have written on my birthday cake “Kacpa” and “Dunk Elite” Everyone was laughing. And me Mr Piotr with his great cake, “Kacpa”, “DunkElite”. So for me as a young boy it was all of my life Describe Piotr by one word? Try to describe him by one word so probably the best match is “craftsman” Why? Because what he achieved is a result of recurrence, austerities, everyday workshop same as the blacksmith goes and forges iron Piotrek everyday does his little step, which is of course great amount of work, but it’s like metaphor – The little steps which later brings great results, little blocks which create huge image So it all started to go on. My passion, my love to this sport So for my 18th bday I didn’t want any party. I wanted to stay at home. Make a little cake, invite friends and family But my brother Paweł decided to change it a bit. He booked a sports hall. He wrote to Damian Harsze that he would join us Damian had no choice, he had to come. So for my 18th birthday everyone were there, my whole family was at the hall I was really shocked when Damian, entered my room and said “Hi, I am here let’s go to the hall.” I was like “wow, Damian is here, of course we go” From what I remember I manage to btl dunk, one of the first times in front of my family So without any break, I keep on my dunking way First my biggest event in my career was of course apart from all the polish contests, was Shut Up and Play I went there with Dawid Mazur. I think we were driving there at the same day as was the contest, We were going to Berlin straight from Leszno by car We both signed up to the contest. I wanted to face with the best dunkers, Dunk Elite, there was Lipek, Jordan Southerland There was also Kristaps but he didnt jump as he was right after injury and during warm up he decided to not jump So.. I was 3rd I have no idea how, I lost with Lipek and Jordan by 1 point and they had a dunk off. I don’t know how I manage to be there

It was for me like a “wow, I have 3rd place at SUAP, wow, wow, wow.” Then I realized that I can reach that level to compete with the best ones and after the time beat them, that it is possible I didn’t know that I’m able to jump so high, do such things and compete against them I have a nature like I know that someone is better than me so I put myself on the 2nd place. i know that I shouldn’t but I have it and it motivates me so for now it’s ok 2 years later, in 2019, I manage to win the main contest. Jumping over Donovan Mitchell, NBA star For me, the boy from village which had a dream in age of 13 It was amazing, it made me believe that I can compete with the best ones. I don’t know what to say more. It’s possible, that’s it I will be honest, there are better competitors from what i watched As a father, I’m nervous, sometimes I even swear while watching you But it’s obvious that you are always supporting your kid, your son When contest is steamed so now maybe I got used to, after 2 years At the beginning it was to much for me, I was walking, standing up, biting my nails, scratching, got nervous hundreds of times When something went wrong I thought that I will have heart attack I learnt to not stress and don’t step back and think “he won’t do it, there are betters, he will be in last places or anything” As time flies, I learnt that I can see it like “in this contest it’s better, there is more energy, you can see that he’s doing better, than you can just sit and be happy that he will win.” Next events, World Championships in Amsterdam Where I was 2nd. Right after Miller, when in the dunk off I missed a bit of luck I missed points. But 2nd place in the world for me, sometime ago, little boy in the past, I never thought I can do it Then it just happen Contest in Copenhagen, where I won, jumping over a car And in general FIBA’s, my first FIBA contest was in 2018 I was invited and I manage to win And it was bigger event which I won From when I started I wanted to look like this. Be here on this contest, and wear this FIBA clothes I was dreaming about it. It’s almost my dream come true, it will be complete if I will do you know what Year later, in 2019, again win in Prague. I had taught fight against Kristaps

I made all dunks in 1st attempt. I knew that I won last year and I was very well prepared to make it again Next contest in Debrecen, I also managed to win. I was jumping with Lipek and someone else Maybe it wasn’t hard contest but I did for the first time new dunk there which I didn’t try before, or just once I was really away from making it but then I made it, behind the back from hand In 2015 I was in Warsaw as a dunking fan There was Guy Dupuy show, Trio Basket Warsaw – I’m there watching live, wow 2018 it’s me doing a show there. You can do it 2013 I was taking part in my first Jr.NBA by Marcin Gortat In 2019 it’s my show at Jr.NBA in Czech Republic In 2014 Kaliski Streetball I was jumping on low rim in the kid zone, in 2019 I won main contest by dunk over car If by this video I didn’t convince you that everything is possible and your biggest limit is your imagination so you know what? Stay average and just live Or dare to live and realize your dreams You can achieve anything, all you need is a bit of hard work Hello from New York, today we are in New York Kacper my dear, please clean my window. Very well, Thank you. Oh yes, right here No jokes, it was like this. We arrive early morning, like 4 o’clock And man opens the door, sleeping and says something like “ohhh it’s you for night, I thought it’s any couple” We were driving from Krosno Odrzańskie to Dąbrowa Górnicza And we were almost sleeping, we stopped in weird hotel, we slept like 2,5 hour i took the highway ticket and we lost it while recording It’s very important to learn young drivers, that’s what we are doing I took him on the highway. Soon we will reach speed of light. We open the windows Is it out? OMG, I was always thinking what happens if you lose it So we were thinking what now, we will be in the gate without that ticket But it end up like we just need to pay the maximum price i was always curious what happens in this situation

I really like when he imposes the ball really high and strongly finishes dunk with one hand But I also know that in this dunk there is place for improvement when he finishes to put legs into front to show the power by whole body not just hand- like boom, the power is huge Of course I just say it but I’m doing it on low rim. I’m sure when he will do it, it will look amazing I’m also huge fan of his under leg and both legs, its fast and dope