TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Dominik Olejniczak, who will play at Florida State as a graduate transfer during the 2019-20 season, has been named to the Poland National Basketball team for the upcoming FIBA World Cup Tournament. Poland will play their first game on the first day of the tournament — Saturday, August 31 – against Venezuela at the Wukesong Sport Arena in Beijing, China.
Poland is in Group A along with Ivory Coast, Venezuela and China. Each of the four teams in eight groups will play a round-robin format between themselves (three games) with the top two teams in each group advancing to the second round. The second round begins on September 6; the quarterfinals begin on September 10; the semifinals start on September 13 with the championship game played on September 15.
“I am happy that Coach Taylor chose me to be in his final roster,” said Olejniczak. “Playing in the World Cup is a huge deal and a very big event for everyone. It’s going to be extra fun to compete in it, especially with having my country on the front of my jersey. I am looking forward to collecting a priceless experience.”
Poland is playing in the FIBA World Cup for the first time since 1967. Poland defeated Croatia, 77-69, on February 22, 2019, to seal its place in the 32-team field in China. Poland finished in fifth place at the 1967 World Cup in Montevideo, Uruguay. Since taking part in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Poland’s best finish at a FIBA EuroBasket Tournament (qualifying for the World Cup) was seventh in the 1981, 1987, 1991, 1997 and 2009 qualifying tournaments, the last of which they played in Poland.
“It’s history for us,” said star guard Mateusz Ponitka shortly after Poland clinched their spot in the World Cup. “For the coach, it’s history. For everybody, it’s history. It’s really a big deal here in Poland right now. It’s a great feeling.”
Olejniczak averaged 5.3 points (seventh on the team), 3.0 rebounds (fifth), a career-high and team-leading 0.9 blocked shots (first) and shot a team leading .575 from the field as he played in all 33 games at Ole Miss during the 2018-19 season He established career highs for games played (33), games started (22), assists (23), blocked shots (30), steals (17), minutes played (603) and average minutes played per game (16.3) as he led the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament with a 20-13 overall record and a 10-8 record in SEC play. It marked the first time the Rebels had advanced to play in the NCAA Tournament since 2015.
“Yogi earned his spot on the World Cup roster with hard work and team play,” said Poland’s Head Coach Mike Taylor. “Yogi represents the future of Polish big men. For us in this World Cup, the future is now as both bigs made the team and will gain great experience here in Beijing. We love Dom’s physicality and energy. We appreciate all the support from Coach Hamilton and the Florida State staff allowing Yogi to be a part of this fantastic basketball and life experience.”
Olejniczak and his Florida State teammates begin their quest to play in a school-record tying fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament at Pittsburgh on November 6. After a game at Florida on November 10, the Seminoles open their home schedule on November 15 against Western Carolina. Season tickets for the 2019-20 season which includes each of their six non-conference games and their 10-game home ACC schedule are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by visiting seminoles.com or by calling the Florida State Ticket office at 1-888-378-6653.