Swansea City's Lukasz Fabianski's safe pair of hands
13th July 2014
In the second installment of our three-part story, Lukasz Fabianski talks about the sports that have helped develop his skills to become a professional footballer.
Ever since he was a young boy, Lukasz Fabianski was regularly showing he had a safe pair of hands.
Little did he realise at the time, but while growing up in his hometown of Słubice, Fabianski would start to develop the skills that would put him en route to a successful football career.
The 1994 World Cup in America and a certain Italian keeper in Gianluca Pagliuca grabbed his attention.
Yet it was not only on the football field - or the rough, stoned street he used to play on - that sent him on his way.
His keen interest in basketball helped develop his hand-to-eye coordination, his footwork and handling qualities too.
As a child, he would also play volleyball, swim and cycle in every spare second he had.
But it was basketball which really captured his imagination - after football, of course.
"I played basketball in primary school, and when Michael Jordan was winning the championships here with Chicago my interest grew in the sport," said the Polish international.
"Playing basketball from an early age with my brothers (Bartek and Arek) has definitely helped me in certain aspects of my football career.
"For a basketball player footwork is very important and also your handling, while the physical training you have to do in basketball is very similar to that of a footballer.
"I've played since then, and I've followed the NBA closely. When I get the chance to shoot some hoops I do it."
While in football his job is to keep the ball out of the net, in basketball Fabianski regularly finds the net.
And he got the opportunity to prove his quality on the court this summer, shortly after becoming a Swansea City player following his move from Arsenal on a free transfer. He explains: "I got invited by a Polish player Marcin Gortat, who plays for Washington Wizards in the NBA, to get involved in a charity game.
"He knew I am a big basketball fan, and he saw my clip of me shooting some hoops with Jason Kidd, who is an NBA legend.
"So he sent me a message to see if I'd like to get involved in his charity game.
"I had a few good moments in the game. Marcin said I was MVP, which was pretty cool for me."
Swans supporters will be hoping he earns a few 'Most Valuable Player' awards this season.
Look out tomorrow for the final installment in our three-part series.