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Martin Gortat's mind in native Poland after crash

Apr 12, 2010, 9:18 AM EDT

Written on the Magic’s Martin Gortat’s shoe when he took the court Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers was the flight number of the plane that crashed and killed 96 in his native Poland a day before.

Written on the tape on Gortat’s wrist was the name Lech Kaczynski, the president of Poland who died in that crash. Gortat told the Associated Press that the tragic crash was on his and his countrymen’s minds.

“It’s very sad,” Gortat said. “There were a lot of people putting our country on the right path to become one of the strongest and most powerful countries in Europe. Obviously, we pray for them.”

Gortat said he knew a couple people on that flight. Like all of his countrymen, Gortat is in a state of mourning. 

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