Bridgton Big Man ACC-Bound

Bartosz Lewandoski waited and waited. The waiting game paid off for the 7-foot-3 senior big man from Poland, who spent this past season at Bridgton Academy and is now headed to an ACC school. Lewandoski is playing on Poland's national team and the papers are expected to be in the mail any day.

Monty Towe recruited senior Bartosz Lewandowski when he was the head coach at New Orleans. When Towe left UNO to return as an assistant at his alma mater, N.C. State, he continued to pursue the big man from Poland.

Now Towe has finally gotten his man as Lewandowski is expected to send back the paperwork necessary from Poland, where he is on the national team.

``He's come a long way physically since he got here," Bridgton coach Whit Lesure said. "He's still got a ways to go, but he's an exceptional worker and has a very good sense of the game." The 7-foot-2, 245-pound big man came over from Poland in the fall and was recruited by schools at various levels. Low-majors, mid-majors and even high-majors like Pittsburgh took a peek. At the end of the day, he chose N.C. State over San Diego. Lewandowski recently scored a 880 on the SAT and is expected to be approved through the clearinghouse in the next week or two – which would make everything official.

``He's excited about playing in a conference like the ACC," Lesure said. "He also felt very comfortable with Monty Towe."

``He understands it's going to take a lot of work and he knows he's not a finished product, but he works extremely hard and has improved a lot since he got here."

Lewandoski, who played for a basketball school in Poland for three years before landing at Bridgton, turns 20 in October and gives Lowe and the Wolfpack a legitimate center on a team that features 6-foot-8 Ben McCauley and thin 6-foot-9 Andrew Brackman as the most likely possibilities in the middle.

Lewandoski showed the ability to run the floor well and also is able to score in the paint. He still needs to get stronger and work on his agility.

Lowe's philosophy on this one was likely "if you're going to take a chance, you may as well take a chance on a big man." N.C. State is in desperate need of size, anyway, and Lewandoski has a chance to develop into a solid role player in the ACC.

However, if fans are expecting the big man to come in and make an instant impact, it's highly unlikely. Lewandoski has terrific work ethic and has improved his athleticism and low-post skills since arriving in Bridgton.

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