Selected players participating in the “Education, Sports, Future” program as well as the most talented players from across the country who want to hone their basketball skills may be enrolled at the Sports Championship Academic High School (ALMS) in Gorzów. “It is our pride and joy. ALMS provides optimal conditions for the continuing development of the players’ basketball skills and provides comprehensive education so that they see a vision of their own future,” said coach Dariusz Maciejewski.
Basketball players who attend the ALMS high school have 10 hours of basketball training and 6 hours of athletic training and strength-training per week under the guidance of experienced coaching staff. ALMS allows for combining sports trips with systematic school education at each grade level. Experienced teaching staff and small groups of up to 15 students ensure an individual approach to each basketball player. This contributes to a high-quality education. Players who live outside Gorzów can stay at the sports dormitory, where they are monitored by dorm supervisors with pedagogical training. During the season, our basketball players take part in women's 1st league tournaments as well as U18 and U22 Polish Youth Championships.
“The standard of education at our school is remarkable thanks to small class sizes and demanding teachers. Teachers approach each student individually, which helps them reach their maximum potential. Scholarships and other distinctions help us stay motivated. One of them is the Scholarship of the Prime Minister, which I have been receiving for two years now. I am very grateful that I have been given such a chance,” said Kornelia Ruszkowska.
Wiktoria Kuczyńska, member of the Polish national team for the U16 and U18 European Championships, is a perfect example that the best basketball players from all over Poland choose Gorzów to further their development. Why did she choose to play for AZS AJP Gorzów although her home town of Tarnów is so far away? “Before high school, I received a few offers from clubs all over Poland where I could enhance my basketball skills. I talked to my parents and my sister about this and they convinced me to choose Gorzów. Experienced coaches, a very good training base and a great atmosphere played an essential part in my decision-making. Thanks to the ALMS high school, we can easily combine education with sport and that’s why I like my school so much,” said Wiktoria Kuczyńska.
Why did a Gorzów-based club decide to set up the Sports Championship Academic High School? “We decided to create a place where young basketball players can further develop for two reasons: it was the seventh year of the "Education, Sports, Future" program and there were a number of basketball players from all over Poland who couldn’t continue playing for their teams. Initially, we started with a junior high school and a high school. Now, after the educational reform, there is only the high school (ALMS). Professor Elżbieta Skorupska-Raczyńska, the Rector of the Jacob of Paradies University (AJP), understood our needs. Together, we managed to create something that today is our pride and joy. The Club has an excellent relationship with the University and the ALMS school administration, in particular with Principal Renata Janicka-Szyszko,” added coach Dariusz Maciejewski.
What added value does ALMS offer to the club?? “All training sessions take place at facilities located within 100 meters of each other. I can monitor the training sessions easily and I can see which basketball players are worthy of interest, since they can provide a real reinforcement for the top league team. The gradual development of our basketball players shows that we have created something that is unique in Poland. We have two teams in the first league macro regional games (U18 and U22 teams),” said the coach.
From this season, basketball players who are high school third graders may obtain a basketball instructor license, tantamount to a coaching license (C level) of the Polish Basketball Association. AZS AJP Gorzów is Poland’s first club to offer such a course to basketball players. “I am glad that we are pioneers in this respect. I would like to express my gratitude for the support we have been given by the Polish Basketball Association. Now our Club is able to offer an alternative career to our players. Of course, not all of them will achieve their dreams and goals and become professional basketball players, but they can also express themselves in this sport as coaches. I am willing to share my extensive experience with them. All in all, I think that what they have learned during the classes will also help them in the game,” said coach Maciejewski.