The Greek Freak, or Giannis Antetokounmpo, is a professional basketball player from Greece. The Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA are the team with whom he is most closely associated. His professional basketball career began when he signed on to play for the Greek club Filathlitikos B.C.’s junior team. Soon after, he was promoted to the main team for Filathlitikos.
Antetokounmpo was outstanding in every facet of the game, including rebounding, passing, and defense. His outstanding and unique sports abilities caught the eye of Europe’s best teams. The Spanish team CAI Zaragoza signed him to a four-year deal for €400,000 annually. Giannis Antetokounmpo never had the opportunity to play for the Zaragoza team despite the fact that the Milwaukee Bucks had drafted him in the preseason.
The default escape clause in his contract with Zaragoza guaranteed his playing eligibility for the Milwaukee Bucks. By his third season with the Milwaukee Bucks, he had become an essential cog in the team’s offensive machine. The next season, he became the most valuable player for the Milwaukee Bucks.
|Nick Name:||Greek Freak|
|Date of birth||December 6, 1994|
|Height:||6'11" (211 cm)|
|Also Known As:||Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo, Adetokunbo|
|Basketball Players:||Greek Men|
|Siblings:||Alexis Antetokounmpo, Francis Antetokounmpo, Kostas Antetokounmpo, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo|
|Grouping Of People:||Black Basketball Players|
Early Life and Childhood
Greek-born Giannis Antetokounmpo was born on December 6, 1994, in Athens. In 1991, his parents’ Nigerian ancestors arrived in the country. Francis, the eldest of their family, was entrusted to his grandparents prior to his parents’ departure.
There are two junior siblings, Kostas and Alex, and one more older brother, Thanasis, who is older than Giannis. Regardless of their birthplace in Greece, Giannis Antetokounmpo and three of his siblings were ineligible for Greek citizenship. His lack of Greek or Nigerian citizenship prevented him from becoming a stateless individual, even after reaching the age of eighteen.
It is a recollection of his parents’ arduous efforts to support a family of eight while barely surviving. In a field close to the family’s meager neighborhood of Sepolia, he and his older brother Thanasis would frequently report for practice on an almost empty stomach.
Giannis and his sibling, who were 13 years old, were not particularly engaged in basketball dribbling, according to a club instructor who recalls those times. The brothers were unable to freely interact with other kids and locals in their community during their formative years because they were afraid of the police deporting them.
The Sepolia neighborhood’s club instructor, Spiros Velliniatis, recognized that Giannis possessed the mental fortitude and resolve to flourish in basketball despite his lack of physical ability. During an interview, Antetokounmpo acknowledged that Velliniatis deserves credit for his success and ascent to fame.
As he promised to secure employment for their parents, Panagiotis Zivach, the then-filathlitikos coach, recalled enticing the siblings to attend every basketball practice. The children were able to practice on a full stomach because their neighbor, the restaurateur Giannis Tzikas, contributed by preparing sandwiches for them.
After Zivas, the general manager of Filathlitikos facilitated their parents in obtaining employment, Giannis and Thanasis commenced basketball practice in 2007. In order for the siblings to fulfill their obligations to the basketball organization, he also provided financial assistance.
Giannis’s consistent training became much more convenient after the family relocated to a location close to Filathlitikos. 2009 marked the beginning of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s professional career, which began with his selection for the junior team of Filathlitikos, following two years of practice.
What personality is Giannis?
On May 9, 2013, at the age of nearly twenty, Giannis Antetokounmpo became a Greek citizen. Both Charles and Veronica, his parents, were athletes at the professional level. Two of his brothers are older, while the other two are younger.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has begun a relationship with volleyball player Mariah Riddlesprigger. Their son, Liam Charles, was born in February of 2020. At the beginning of 2022, they had their second child.
All the brothers are professional basketball players except for the oldest, Francis, who plays football.
Beginnings in One’s Profession
From 2009 through 2012, Giannis Antetokounmpo played for Filathlitikos’s youth squad. He was outstanding in all facets of the game and was a major factor in his team’s many victories. His 50-point performance in one game drew the attention of numerous European basketball team general managers.
In 2012, Giannis Antetokounmpo joined the Filathlitikos senior team, playing for the club in the 2012–13 season of the Greek A2 Basket League. In December of the same year, he signed a four-year deal with Spanish team CAI Zaragoza that contained an annual NBA buyout option.
The 2013–14 season was to be the first year of his deal with CAI Zaragoza. He scored at least 9.5 points per game on a 1.0 block, 1.4 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game basis in every postseason game he played in during the 2012–13 Greek A2 League season.
In 2013, he was a lone representative for his team in the Greek League All-Star Game.
Becoming Milwaukee’s Most Valuable Player
Giannis became eligible to be drafted into the NBA for the upcoming 2013–14 season on April 28. He was the fifteenth player chosen in the first round of the draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. On July 13, 2013, the Bucks signed him as a new player.
In 2013–14, he played in 77 games with the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 6.8 points per game. With 61 blocks for the year, he finished as the league’s best rookie and earned a spot in the Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.
After an outstanding performance in the Rising Stars Challenge playoff, he was named to the NBA’s second team of rookies. In addition, Antetokounmpo’s contract with the Milwaukee Bucks was extended for two more years, covering both the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 campaigns. During his second season as a pro, his scoring average hit a high of 27 points.
On February 9, 2015, he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for his outstanding effort in games played between February 2nd and 8th. At that year’s NBA All-Star Weekend in New York, he took part in the Slam Dunk Contest.
Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 81 games played during the 2014–2015 season. The Bucks finished sixth in the Eastern Conference playoffs during Giannis’ second season with the team, but the Chicago Bulls eliminated them in the first round.
His contract with the Milwaukee Bucks has been extended for another year. He got off to a strong start in 2015-16, outscoring his totals from the previous two years by an average of 16 points per game through the season’s first 20 contests.
For the first time in his career, he scored in double digits on February 22, 2016, as he helped the Milwaukee Bucks to a 108-101 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers with 10 assists, 12 rebounds, and 27 points. He set a new record by being the youngest player in Bucks history to register a triple-double at the age of 21.
When he recorded his fourth triple-double of the season on March 13, 2016, against the Brooklyn Nets, he set Milwaukee Bucks records. On April 1, 2016, while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, he recorded his fifth career triple-double in a 113-110 victory against the Orlando Magic.
On September 19, 2016, the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo extended their deal by four years and $100 million. He set a personal best with 31 points in the Bucks’ season-opening loss to the Charlotte Hornets on October 26. In the game against the Orlando Magic, which his team won, he got his sixth triple-double.
In December 2016, he was honored once again for his performances from November 28th through December 4th by being named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week. On December 7, 2016, in a game that the Bucks won, he recorded his second triple-double of the 2016–17 season (and seventh of his career).
Giannis Antetokounmpo tied Michael Redd’s 2006 record of 15 consecutive games with at least 20 points for the Milwaukee Bucks after scoring 25 points against the New York Knicks on January 6, 2017.
As a member of the Eastern Conference All-Star team, he will be playing in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo created history when, on February 19, 2017, he replaced Michael Redd as the only Bucks player to make the All-Star team. He made history when, at age 22, he was chosen as the youngest player in his club’s franchise to ever start in an NBA All-Star Game.
Giannis also made history by being the first Greek player to start an NBA All-Star game. This was a first for him; however, on April 3, 2017, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for all his March 2017 matches.
He joined Sidney Moncrief, Terry Cummins, and Michael Redd as the fourth different 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 single season by recording his third of the 2016–17 season.
He joined an exclusive group of NBA players by being just the sixth player to ever lead the Bucks in scoring, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals. Because of this historic performance, he became the first NBA player to finish in the top 20 in all major statistical categories in a regular season.
He was the first player in Bucks history to win the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. He maintained his impressive run of form as a key contributor for the Milwaukee Bucks.
As a member of the Greek National Team
In July 2013, Giannis Antetokounmpo made his national team debut with the Greek Under-20 squad, in his native country. The following year, he was selected to play at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup with the senior Greek national team.
At the 2015 EuroBasket tournament, he also played for the national team.
Honors and Awards
So far in his professional career, Giannis has earned many trophies, including Most Improved Player and NBA All-Star in 2017.