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BF Polish Week 2018: Recapping Polish Heritage Night

NBA: Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t easy, but the Wizards beat the Nets, 119-113 on Saturday in their annual Polish Heritage Night game. Marcin Gortat scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win, so everyone leaves happy! Here are some of the highlights from last Saturday’s festivities:

Tomas Satoransky speaks some Polish too!

Remember the GameThread when I mentioned that Czech singer Ewa Farna is of Polish descent and is also fluent in Polish? It goes a bit further than that because Tomas Satoransky, even though he’s not of Polish descent as far as I know, can also speak Polish. Watch!

Czech and Polish are mutually intelligible languages, so they aren’t EXACTLY the same. But they’re close enough so native speakers of both languages can speak to each other in their native tongues and still understand one another in many circumstances.

In other words, Gortat could speak entirely in Polish to Sato who would get the main point of what Gortat said much of the time. And vice versa. This article from Teacher Finder can tell you a bit more on the relationship between Czech, Slovak, and Polish.

Still, it takes time to learn other languages, even if they’re closely related. So Satoransky has to put in time to learning Polish, though he has more of a leg on it than the average American.

Those Polish Hussar Hats are LIT

PA Announcer Ralph Wesley wore one of those interesting hats before the game. They are Hussar Helmet Hats, or Husaria in Polish. The Husaria was an elite cavalry back in the Middle Ages, and they often wore winged armor which explains the look on the hats. This video on YouTube can tell you more about the Hussars than I can.

Honoring World War II veterans

Gortat gave a jersey to Polish veterans who served during World War II before tipoff.

Cheerleaders Gdynia performed

The group has performed in all but one of the Polish Heritage Nights in Washington since 2014.

Gortat’s highlight dunk

This dunk at the end of the first half was Gortat’s best play in my opinion.

Postgame interactions

After the game, Gortat came out to speak to the crowd.

This night just seems to be getting bigger and bigger in D.C. every year. I know Gortat at some point won’t play for the Wizards anymore — hopefully because he retires in Washington. But I’d like to see something like this continue well after he decides to call it a career.