Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Athens, Greece
Birth Sign
Athens, Greece

Giannis Antetokounmpo, often known as the ‘Greek Freak,’ is a Greek basketball player who plays for the ‘Milwaukee Bucks’ in the NBA. He began his professional career by joining the Filathlitikos B.C., a Greek professional basketball team, as a member of the junior squad. He was quickly promoted to Filathlitikos’ senior squad. Antetokounmpo was outstanding in every aspect of the game, including rebounds, assists, and blocks. His remarkable and extraordinary sporting abilities drew the attention of some of Europe’s leading clubs. He signed a four-year contract with the Spanish club ‘CAI Zaragoza’ for € 4,00,000 per year. Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, did not get the chance to play for Zaragoza since he was selected in the first round of the NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, just as he was about to take the field for the Spanish team. He was eligible to play for the Milwaukee Bucks since his contract with Zaragoza had a default escape clause. In his third season with the NBA team, he was an important playmaker for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was named the Milwaukee Bucks’ star player the following year.

Childhood and Adolescence

Giannis Antetokounmpo was born in Athens, Greece, on December 6, 1994. In 1991, his parents arrived in the nation from Nigeria. His parents committed their eldest kid, Francis, to the care of his grandparents before migrating.
Thanasis, Giannis’ older brother, and two younger brothers, Kostas and Alexis, make up Giannis’ family. Despite their birth in Greece, Giannis and three of his brothers were not eligible for Greek citizenship. He remained a stateless person even after turning 18 because he had neither Greek nor Nigerian citizenship.

He recalls his parents striving to make ends meet and support an eight-person family. On most days, he and his older brother, Thanasis, would show up for practice on a near-empty stomach in a field outside the family’s impoverished Sepolia neighborhood.

Giannis and his brother were playing football with a 13-year-old Giannis, according to a club teacher, and he was not interested in dribbling with a basketball. As children, the brothers were unable to openly socialize with other children in their area or with locals because they were constantly afraid of being deported by the authorities.

Spiros Velliniatis, a club coach who taught other children in the Sepolia neighborhood, recognized that despite Giannis’ lack of basketball skills, he possessed the mental toughness and determination to succeed in the sport. In an interview, Antetokounmpo confessed that Velliniatis deserves the credit for his achievements and ascent to popularity.

Panagiotis Zivach, the then-Filathlitikos coach, recalls attracting the boys to regular basketball training sessions by promising that he would find work for their parents. Their next-door neighbor, Giannis Tzikas, pitched in by making sandwiches for the kids so that they could practice on a full stomach.

After Zivas, the general manager of Filathlitikos, supported their parents in securing jobs, Giannis and Thanasis began practicing basketball in 2007. He also provided financial assistance to the brothers so that they could meet their obligations to the basketball club.

Later, the family relocated to a neighborhood near Filathlitikos, which made it much easier for Giannis to train routinely. Giannis was picked as a part of Filathlitikos’ youth team in 2009 after two years of practice, marking the start of his professional career.

Early in Your Professional Life

From 2009 until 2012, Giannis Antetokounmpo was a member of the Filathlitikos youth team. He was outstanding in every facet of the game and contributed to his team’s multiple victories. He scored 50 points in one game, which drew the attention of several European basketball club managers.

In 2012, Antetokounmpo joined Filathlitikos’ senior squad, and he played in the Greek A2 Basket League during the 2012-13 season. In December of the same year, CAI Zaragoza, a Spanish team, signed him to a four-year contract with an NBA buyout clause for each season.

In the 2013-14 season, his contract with CAI Zaragoza was set to begin. During the 2012-13 Greek A2 League playoffs, he averaged 9.5 points per game in at least 26 games, with at least one block, 1.4 assists, and 5.0 rebounds in each game.
In 2013, he was selected as a single participant for the ‘Greek League All-Star Game.’

Becoming a Milwaukee Bucks star player

Giannis qualified for the NBA draft for the 2013-14 season on April 28, 2013. He was chosen in the first round of the draft, ranked 15th overall among all eligible Milwaukee Bucks draftees. On July 13, 2013, he was signed as a new recruit for the Bucks.

During the 2013-14 season, he appeared in 77 games with the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 6.8 points per contest. He finished the season as the top-ranked NBA rookie, with 61 blocks, making him eligible for the NBA All-Star Weekend’Rising Stars Challenge, which was hosted in New Orleans.

His outstanding performance in the ‘Rising Stars Challenge’ playoff earned him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie second team, which consists of five players. In addition, Antetokounmpo’s contract with the Milwaukee Bucks was extended for two more seasons, 2014-15 and 2015-16. In his second year as a rookie, he hit a high of 27 points.

He received his first ‘player of the week’ award on February 9, 2015, and was named the ‘Eastern Conference Player’ for his outstanding performance in games from February 2nd to February 8th, 2015. He competed in the NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest in New York that year.

Giannis had an average of 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 81 appearances in the 2014-15 season, missing only one game. The Bucks, who finished sixth in the Eastern Conference playoffs during Giannis’ second season with the team, were eliminated in the first round by the Chicago Bulls. His contract with the Milwaukee Bucks was renewed for the 2016-17 season. He got off to a fantastic start in the 2015-16 season, outscoring his previous two seasons and maintaining a consistent average of 16 points per game through the first 20 games.

He scored double figures for the first time in his career on February 22, 2016, when he had 10 assists, 12 rebounds, and 27 points in a 108-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He also set a record by becoming the Bucks’ youngest player to score a triple double at the age of 21.

He became the first player in Milwaukee Bucks history to record four triple doubles in a single season on March 13, 2016, in a game against the Brooklyn Nets. On April 1, 2016, he recorded his fifth triple double in a game against the Orlando Magic, which the Milwaukee Bucks won 113-110.

On September 19, 2016, Giannis signed a four-year, $100 million extension with the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 31 points in the Bucks’ season-opening game against the Charlotte Hornets on October 26, a career high. During his team’s win over the Orlando Magic, he recorded his sixth triple double.

In December 2016, he was named the ‘Eastern Player of the Week’ for his outings from November 28th to December 4th. On December 7th, he recorded his second triple double of the season (and his seventh overall) in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers, which the Bucks won.

After scoring 25 points against the New York Knicks on January 6, 2017, Giannis became the second Bucks player to score at least 20 points in 14 consecutive games, tying Michael Redd’s 2006 mark.

As a member of the Eastern Conference’s All-Star team, he was selected to start the ‘2017 NBA All-Star Game.’
After Michael Redd, Giannis Antetokounmpo became the first player from the Milwaukee Bucks to be named to the All-Star team on February 19, 2017. At the age of 22, he became the youngest basketball player in club franchise history to be selected as a starter in a ‘All Star Game.’

Giannis also made history by becoming the first and only Greek player to start an NBA All-Star game. In 2017, he was named ‘Eastern Conference Player of the Month’ on April 3rd for all of his appearances in the month of March, a career first. After Sidney Monicrief, Terry Cummins, and Michael Redd, he became the fourth Bucks player to be named ‘Eastern Conference Player of the Month.’ On April 10, 2017, he tied Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s record of three triple-doubles in a season.

He became the fifth player in NBA history to lead the Bucks in points, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals in the same season. In addition, he became the first NBA player to finish in the top 20 in every major statistical category during a regular season.

For the 2016-17 season, he was the first Bucks player to get the ‘NBA Most Improved Player Award.’ As a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, he continued to play an important role, continuing his string of strong performances.

Playing for Greece’s National Team

Giannis Antetokounmpo made his international debut for Greece in July 2013, when he was named to the Greek Under-20 National Team. He was named to the senior Greek national basketball team for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup the following year.
He also played in EuroBasket 2015 for the national team.

Achievements & Awards

Giannis has earned a total of eight honors in his professional career, including the 2017 ‘NBA All-Star’ and ‘NBA Most Improved Player’ Awards.

Personal Experiences

Giannis was over 20 years old when he gained Greek citizenship on May 9, 2013. Charles, his father, was a professional footballer, and Veronica, his mother, was an athlete. He has four brothers, two of whom are older than him and two of whom are younger.
Except the eldest brother, Francis who plays football, all the four brothers are professional basketball players.

Estimated Net Worth

Giannis Antetokounmpo has a net worth of $70 million.