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Marcin Gortat’s girlfriend Anna Kociuga comes from the land of great girlfriend gettin’. That’s what Mr. Gortat would have you believe. According to Marcin, “You guys definitely can go to Poland to look for a girlfriend or for a wife. You’re definitely gonna find yourself a nice wife.” I picture a giant 7-foot man clomping down the streets of Krakow looking to grab a woman as he would a rebound, but that is not at all how it went.
Eastern Europeans and the abundant use of the word “definitely” can be slightly misleading. Marcin only recently parted ways with Anna Kociuga in October of last year. The two met in 2009 and dated for 5 years. She’s a model and apparently was well-publicized in Polish tabloids because of her relationship with Gortat (who is essentially the most famous Polish basketball player).
Gortat’s Wizards have managed to get themselves to the second round of the playoffs thanks to his steady contributions. He’s averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds, and shot 54% from the floor- good standard output for a big man on a team hoping to go deep. Gortat said for the Post: “You can’t lose games at home. End of the day, they have to do whatever gets them going. If they need to flex in front of their own crowd, okay, let them flex, but we gotta win the game.” Unfortunately, they’re very much on the ropes right now down 3 games to 1 and playing the fifth game in Indiana on Tuesday. Not a good spot to be in.
As an interesting aside-- Marcin’s father was on the Polish Olympic boxing team in 1972 and 1976 and earned a bronze medal both times. He was smashed by Leon Spinks in a TKO in the 1976 Olympics, but he managed to beat him one year later at the world championships.
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Nene Hilario's wife Lauren Hilario shared a very similar, scary experience with the big man. Nene, which was a name he picked for himself back in 2003 that means "baby" in Portuguese, has been through some tough trials throughout his ten consistent seasons. Don't ask me why he chose to name himself Baby, dear reader, for I cannot say.
Lauren is a tall lady, having been a college volleyball player. She was a teammate of Nene's manager Alex Santos' wife, and Nene met Lauren the night Alex's first child was born. Coincidentally, Lauren's sister Ashley dated the Pelicans' Jason Smith for five years, and concurrently with Lauren while she was dating Nene. Jason broke up with Ashley and married some other chick, though, but that's a story for another day.
So here comes the first real challenge to Big Baby (Brazilian Edition). In 2005, he tore a ligament in his knee and was out for an entire season recovering. He recovers, and two years later both he and his wife have to undergo tumor removal surgeries! Lauren's was benign, but it was on her brain, and Nene's was not benign, and it was on his...testicle. The nut and brain combo-- brutal.
Well, they pushed through it and were married shortly after in 2009. Lauren's quote from The Washington Post about her husband: "Am I going to be able to have children? And I think there was a brief moment of: ‘Am I going to be able to have a family? Am I going to be able to go back to basketball?' All of the things he loves and cares about were affected all at one time."
Not to worry, Lauren, your son Mateo is now three years old, and your deeply religious husband seems like one of the most loyal NBA guys there is (he tore up a basketball card of Shawn Kemp after hearing about his off-court behavior). Nene had a great season, averaging 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. He made $13 million and stands to make the same for the next couple years.
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Trevor Ariza's wife Bree Anderson Ariza is proud to be a mother. The couple have had two kids, one six year old and the other three. The six year-old, Tajh, is named after Ariza's brother, who died at the age of five in a horrible accident that happened when Trevor was ten years old.
According to a CSN interview with Trevor, his other brother, Kenny, witnessed Tajh fall out of a window while the two were playing. Both brothers had an understandably difficult time dealing with the tragedy, as they were all very close. Hearing about these kinds of accidents is always sad, so one can imagine how it feels for those involved.
Now in tribute to his brother, Trevor has a son named after him. That's always nice, and having an attractive wife ain't bad either. Trevor also had the best year of his career in the 2013-14 season, earning $7.7 million from Washington. He must've surprised more than a few with a great shooting percentage of .407 with almost 6 three's launched per game. He'd never come close to that accuracy before. He also averaged 6.2 RPG and 14.4 PPG. As a small forward/shooting guard, this kind of output is invaluable, and as one of the more well-traveled players in the NBA and a 2nd rounder, Washington will definitely be interested in keeping him around.
Trevor also started the Trevor Ariza Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to "the support, information, education, and advocacy of asthma," as he was diagnosed at a young age with exercise-induced asthma. Bree appears to have a real motherly vibe going on, posting pictures of her kids participating in various activities. Good vibes from the two of them.