- Lukasz Obrzut
- Hometown (Last School)
- Gliwice, PO (Bridgton (Maine) Academy)
- 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07
- August 31, 1982
Łukasz Obrzut (pronounced WOOkash ORBschoot) was born August 31, 1982, in Jędrzejów, Poland. He first picked up a basketball when he was about 5 years old, but the first time he got serious about basketball was when he was 15. “Europe is a place almost everybody starts out playing soccer,” said Lukasz Obrzut, who stands at 7-1. “I was a good goalkeeper because I had long arms. I was pretty good. But when I turned 15, I started playing basketball. A coach helped me with my shot. I was about 6-8 then, but I knew I had to learn to shoot. It didn’t take me that long to pick it up.”
Obrzut left Poland in 2002 to attend Bridgton (Maine) Academy, where he averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots per game on a team that had seven players sign Division I scholarships. He spoke Polish and understood some German, but he had no background in English when he arrived in the United States. “I had a teacher that helped me learn how to speak and write English,” Obrzut said. “I also watch a lot of TV and movies. I’m always talking to my friends, too, because that helps me with the language. Sometimes I have a few problems in class because I don’t understand all that I am reading because of the language.”
Obrzut was somewhat of an unknown prospect when he signed with Kentucky. He had planned to sign with Fordham, but when that school fired coach Bob Hill after last season, he began looking again and chose Kentucky over Utah. Obrzut wasn’t considered a blue chip recruit, but some insisted that Obrzut soon would be “Kentucky
Obrzut was part of Tubby Smith’s 2003 recruiting class and quickly got the nickname “Woo” based on the pronunciation of his first name. His much-anticipated debut on November 4, 2003, in an exhibition game was dampened by a back injury. The freshmen from Poland managed only 3:51 seconds during the first half of that game and did not play at all in the second half. Obrzut finished with two points. making his only field goal attempt on a sweet turnaround jumper, and one blocked shot. As a freshman, Obrzut averaged 1.2 points in 31 games. He was 12-for-27 from the field and averaged .8 rebounds a game. He also had 50 fouls in 200 minutes.
As a sophomore, he averaged 1.2 points in 28 games but his shooting percentage increased to 57% as he went 12-21. Obrzut mostly lost playing time to Shagari Alleyne, a 7-3 sophomore who held down the bench most of last season. UK also went with smaller lineups at times, such as in the Tennessee game, when 6-7 Sheray Thomas played center. “Woo is not getting the minutes he got last year, and he’s capable of contributing much more,” Tubby Smith said. “But he’s got to work the boards and do some other things better.”
His points per game increased to 1.9 his junior year as he started 16 out of 31 games. His career high came November 9, 2005 against High Point with a nine-point, four-rebound performance. He snagged a career-high 9 rebounds against Louisville on December 17, 2005 but also played a career-high 30 minutes in that game.
Sacrifice is a word that appropriately describes Obrzut’s career as a role player for the Wildcats. Though he never developed into a low-post scoring threat, he did his best to provide the team a strong defensive effort and had an effective catch-and-shoot jumper. He played in 123 games in his career at Kentucky for total of 196 points.
Obrzut was signed as a free agent by the Indiana Pacers in 2007 but was waived a few weeks later. He was picked up by NBA D-League Fort Wayne Mad Ants where he played 19 games and was later picked up by the Bakersfield Jam where he played another 18 games to finish his American pro career. Obrzut averaged 3.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game in his 38-game career with the Bakersfield Jam and Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He played for the Polish Basketball League team Sportino Inowrocław in 2007–08 before returning to the US.
He married his college sweetheart, Nikkie Belcher in 2009 and they reside in Lexington, Kentucky. He was naturalized as a US citizen on 16 February 2017 in a ceremony at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky.