At just 27 years old, Giannis Antetokounmpo has accolades that most NBA players don’t even acquire throughout their entire careers. Antetokounmpo is an NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, six-time All-Star, NBA All-Star game MVP, a five-time first-team all-NBA, and even won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.
There’s some crazy sports news out there, but Giannis’ might be the craziest.
When looking at the type of accolades that Antetokounmpo has been able to acquire throughout his career, it seems likely that everything throughout his life leading up to this was easy just like some of the other stars that we’ve seen in the league.
Other stars like LeBron James have had the bright lights on them ever since they were a little kid, but the same can’t be said for Giannis.
For Someone As Talented As Giannis, Where Did He Start?
Antetokounmpo had an interesting beginning in his life. He was born in Athens Greece on December 6th, 1994, and was the son of immigrants from Nigeria.
They actually didn’t want to move to Greece at first, because his brother Charles was a semi-pro soccer player, but he had an unfortunate injury that ended his career. They ended up going to Greece after that and where he grew up was a tough place to grow up because it was very hard for Charles and Veronica, the father and mother of Antetokounmpo to find steady employment.
Greece doesn’t offer birthright citizenship, so Giannis and his brothers weren’t considered Greek, instead, they’re considered Nigerian.
His parents would bring all four of their kids to sell items on the street or at upscale beaches to try to put food on the table and be able to pay bills. Oftentimes, they wouldn’t have any food to eat and some of their meals would come near midnight for the day.
How Did He Get Involved In Basketball?
Two of his brothers also play in the NBA, and it’s crazy how they got started playing basketball. Kids being kids, the Antetokounmpo brothers were just walking around Greek when they were stopped by a man named Spiros Velliniatis. The family didn’t know who Velliniatis was, but Spiros knew right away that Giannis had a bright future ahead of him in basketball.
Giannis and his brothers were invited to Filathlitikos, a club in Greece. Antetokounmpo wasn’t necessarily thrilled about this, but he was told that if he plays basketball he can help his family with money. That was the one reason why he decided to play the game, because he would do anything to make his mom and dad proud.
Giannis continued playing basketball in Greece, but then NBA scouts became intrigued because of his athleticism.
After scouts became interested, the one who took a chance on him was the Milwaukee Bucks. He has been in Milwaukee for his entire career, and it certainly doesn’t look like he is going to be leaving anytime soon. Giannis was the number 15 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, and 14 teams are kicking their behind right now that they passed up on the superstar.
For someone who had a tough background, did the NBA get any easier for him?
Thinking about where he started, it’s crazy to think that Giannis Antetokounmpo is where he is now. He scored 50 points in a closeout Finals game in the 2021 NBA finals against the Phoenix Suns to secure the Milwaukee Bucks their first championship in nearly 50 years.
When thinking about the type of success that he has been able to find in the NBA, it would make sense why he could potentially grow an ego and become cocky like some of the arrogant American NBA stars that we see in today’s game. However, if there’s one thing that Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t, that would be cocky and arrogant. He is the humblest superstar that has ever played the game, and he’s known for cracking some hilarious jokes in postgame media, showing that he truly does it all on and off the court.
We have never seen anything like him before and are blessed he’s still only 27 years old.