Former Mercer Basketball stand-out, Mirek Babiraz, went on to play three years of professional basketball in his native Poland. The following are excerpts from an interview he conducted with The VOICE.
VOICE: What was your dream job growing up as a kid?.
Mirek: As a kid it was to play in the NBA. Realistically that’s probably not going to happen. Today, my dream job would be to train pro athletes. I’d love to train basketball players, but all athletes.
VOICE: What is your favorite NBA team?.
Mirek: The Lakers. I’m not feeling too good right now cause we are 2-2, but we were 2-2 last year, but Kobe wasn’t injured last year.
VOICE: Who was your idol growing up?.
Mirek: No surprise, Michael Jordan. I remember watching his games [on TV in Poland] and, because of the time difference, the games would come on at like three or four o’clock in the morning, so I would watch the game, then go straight to school!
VOICE: What is the best part of playing pro basketball?.
Mirek: Loving your job, ‘cause you’re actually playing ball and going to practice and your getting paid for it.
VOICE: Through your experiences, what is the main characteristic an athlete should have if they dream to play professionally one day?.
Mirek: hard work comes first. A lot of kids these days think that they work hard but in reality they have no clue what hard work is really about. I never had much talent but you can ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you that I busted my ass…There are no shortcuts.
VOICE: What is Something that you learned from coach Kelly here at Mercer that you found valuable at the pro level?.
Mirek: [I learned] to give everything you have at all times. the three C’s : commitment, consistency and character…