Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Giannis’s nationality, plus his size, speed, and ball-handling, have earned him the nickname “Greek Freak”. As a skilled player, Giannis Antetokounmpo has won the Championship for his team. Here is his biography.

Name: Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo,

Born: December 6, 1994,

Place of Birth: Athens, Greek,

Career: Basket Player,

Early Life

Giannis Antetokounmpo was born on December 6, 1994, in Athens, Greece. He grew up to be one of the National Basket Ball team stars as a result of his skills, training, and size. This earned him the nickname, Greek Freak. His parents are Nigerian immigrants who migrated to Greece before he was born. Gianni’s parents moved to Greece from Lagos, leaving their firstborn Francis behind in Nigeria. While they were in Greece, Francis’s grandparents took charge of his custody.

In Greece, Gianni’s parents could not easily find work because they were immigrants. So, to help their family, Giannis and his older brother Francis, which later became Thanasis Antetokounmpo, helped their parents by hawking watches, handbags, and sunglasses in the street of Sepolia. Gianni Antetokounmpo grew up in the streets of Sepolia, learning the hard life. In 2007, Gianni Antetokounmpo started playing basketball for the local team.

Nigerian Origin

At this stage in his life, his nationality is complicated. Giannis wasn’t born in Nigeria, and he did not receive Greek Citizenship right after he was born. So, for the first 18 years of his life, Gianni Antetokounmpo couldn’t travel outside of Greece because he had no passport. This makes him stateless because he has no paper for Greece and Nigeria.

This happens to Giannis and his other brother because they did not automatically receive Greek Citizenship as Greek law follows. Giannis was eventually issued Greek Citizenship on May 9, 2013, three years after he started playing basketball.

Giannis later changed his surname to Αντετοκούνμπο, which is the Greek translation of his real surname Adetokunbo. Adetokunbo was transliterated letter to letter to Greek. Eventually, Gianni’s passport name changed to Antetokounmpo. After getting Greek Citizenship, Giannis went ahead to get his Nigerian Citizenship in 2015. This makes him possess multiple Citizenship and passport.

Early Career 

Milwaukee Bucks

Greek basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis started playing basketball from an early age. But his opportunity was limited. He was the son of a Nigerian immigrant, so he lived a hard life on the street. Giannis Antetokounmpo began playing for the youth teams in Athens in 2007. The name of the team he played for when he started his basketball career is Filathlitikos. Later, Giannis Antetokounmpo advanced from the youth team to the senior team in 2011. In 2013, Giannis Antetokounmpo was selected as the 15 best by the Bucks in the NBA Draft. 

This is how Giannis started playing for the NBA. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in 5 major categories, and he became the first player to finish a regular season in the top 20. Giannis made history to become an outstanding player in total points, assists, steals, blocks, and rebounds. He later went on to receive the Most Improved Player in 2017. His awards continue because he received the All-star selections as well as being selected as an All-Star captain in 2019 and 2020 when he led the eastern conference.

Aside from that, he shot a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Giannis Antetokounmpo won back-to-back the NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020. This made him join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron as one of the players in NBA history to win two MVPs before clocking 26. Aside from that MPV award, Giannis was also named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. This made third after Micheal Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. 

Both players won that award in 1988 and 1994, respectively. Recently, in 2021, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first Championship. The NBA has not won the Championship since 1971, so Giannis was named Final MVP. Aside from that, in 2021, Giannis Antetokounmpo was selected on the NBA 75th Anniversary team.

Game PPG Points

At age 18, Giannis Antetokounmpo made his NBA debut on October 13, 2013. This made Giannis one of the youngest players in National Basket Association history to do that. Aside from that, Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 6.8 points, five assists, 0.8 steals and blocks, and 4.4 rebounds in 77 appearances during his rookie season. Antetokounmpo scores in double figures 23 times and gathers ten rebounds twice, resulting in double-doubles.

When he finished the NBA that season, he had 62 total blocks, which led all NBA rookies. Later, Giannis Antetokounmpo .was selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-star Weekend in New Orleans, USA. There, Giannis tailed nine points, two assists, two rebounds in 17 minutes. When the season ended, he was dubbed the 2013-2014 NBA All-Rookie and triple-double.

Giannis agreed to a four-year, $100 million contract with the Bucks. His fourth year with the Milwaukee Bucks was his breakthrough season because he increased his output and rise to stardom. He acquired a career-high 39 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and seven assists in a 122 win over the Washington Wizards.

When he was 32, Giannis Antetokounmpo was named the youngest player in the franchise history to start in an All-Star Game. Aside from that, Giannis became the first Greek NBA All-star. In April 2017, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month. This award was the first he received in his career and first for the Milwaukee Bucks lineup since 2004. Aside from that, he received 12 rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and two steals. Antetokounmpo returned to claim more victory for the buck.

In addition to that, Giannis became the first player in NBA history to finish in the top 20 in five major categories in a regular season. As a result of his tremendous effort, Giannis was named to the All-NBA Second Team, earning his first All-NBA Honor. In addition to that, Giannis later became the first player in Milwaukee Bucks history in the playoffs to be named Most Improved Player.

As a result of Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s effort, the Milwaukee Bucks reached the Eastern Conference Finals, but they were defeated by the Toronto Raptors. Giannis was later named the league’s Most Valuable Player at the NBA Awards of 2019. He was rated per game ppg point. He’ll return to the starting lineup after missing two games as a result of right calf soreness, but he did not miss a beat, and he achieved his fourth of three double-doubles. 

NBA Championship

Giannis Antetokounmpo

On October 19, 2021, Giannis received his first championship ring in the annual pre-game ceremony. He recorded 32 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists in a 127 season over the Brooklyn Nets. Later in November, he scored a season-high of 47 points, leading Milwaukee to a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Also, in that same month, he helps the Bucks win the Third seed Orlando Magic in a 32 point, 20 rebounds win, and triple-double. Giannis was forced to miss at least one game (injury-related, non-covid illness) with the raptors due to the power forward having an illness, according to Wednesday’s injury report and Wednesday’s matchup. 

This makes the Bucks’ frontcourt depend on whether the three players, Jordan Nwora, Semi Ojeleye, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, will pass through the COVID-19 safety protocols of the league to Wednesday’s game matchup, ESPN reports. But Luke Kornet and Sandra Mamukelashvili could see an increased run if any of the three players are out. Recently, Antetokounmpo is expected to return to Buck’s lineup for Sunday’s Christmas Day matchup with the Celtics. 

NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo

Awards

Here is a list of awards Giannis Antetokounmpo had gotten from when he started his career as a basketball player after winning many games.

  • NBA Champion: 2021,
  • NBA Finals MVP: 2021,
  • Two Times NBA Most Valuable Player: 2019, 2020,
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 2020,
  • Five Times NBA All-Star: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021,
  • NBA Most Improved Player: 2017,
  • Five Times All-NBA Selection,
  • Four Times All-Defensive Selection,
  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team: 2014,
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team: 2021,
  • Europcar European Player of the Year: 2018,
  • Times 100: 2021.

Personal Life

Giannis Antetokounmpo and girlfriend

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s father is a football player from Nigeria. His father’s name is Charles, while his mother’s name is Veronica. Veronica is a former high jumper. Giannis has two older brothers, Francis and Thanasis, and two younger brothers, Kostas and Alex. As a Christian, Antetokounmpo was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church, where he was baptized on October 28, 2012.

Giannis and his girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger welcome a son, whom they named Liam Charles. Mariah became pregnant for their second son in May 2021. Giannis Antetokounmpo does philanthropic works. He pledged to give $100 000 to the staff of Fiserv Forum as a result of Covid-19. Aside from that, Giannis and his family donated 20 000 face masks to people in Athens and Zografou.