Milwaukee Bucks of America sensation, Giannis Adetokunbo (Antetokounmpo) is set to snub his father’s country, Nigeria in his ‘return home’ with the trophy of USA’s National Basketball Association (NBA) league, megasportsarena.com reports.
This i sequel to his arrival in the country of his birth, Greece this past weekend, as he took the NBA trophy back to his roots but, while he and his brothers always give a mention or two about Nigeria in their narrations, ‘The Greek Freak’ is not thinking of taking the trophy there.
This is sequel to an observation that the two-time NBA regular season most valuable player and best of the lot in this year’s finals will immediately return to the US, where his girlfriend, Mariah Riddlesprigger, is expecting their second child later in August.
Associated Press reported that the whole of Greece virtually came to a standstill, as Antetokounmpo carried the Larry O’Brien Trophy with him at Athens International Airport and said he hopes to win more titles with Milwaukee Bucks.
The 26-year-old Antetokounmpo, who sat next to the gleaming trophy, along with his NBA Finals MVP award and his brother, Thanasis, who also plays for the Bucks, said during a news conference at the airport: “We are happy to be back and that we could bring the trophy with us.
“We had to go through a long process (to bring the trophy to Greece). We don’t know how many days we will stay, but we will take it with us to the places we grew up, to Sepolia and Zografou.”
Giannis and Thanasis are not the first Antetokounmpos to win an NBA championship. Younger brother Kostas, 23, did it first with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, although his contribution was limited. Kostas will play next season with French club Villeurbanne.
The 29-year-old Thanasis and Giannis were born in Greece – in 1992 and 1994, respectively – as were their younger brothers, Kostas and Alex, but acceptance as Greeks was not always easy.
The Antetokounmpo brothers plan to return to Sepolia during their current trip to show the trophies to local kids who, like many other Greeks young and old, now idolize them. Especially Giannis.
Sepolia is the Athens neighborhood where the Antetokounmpo brothers grew up. Zografou is the Athens suburb where Giannis began his basketball career at a local club, Filathlitikos.
The Greece international has always returned to Sepolia, where he has maintained ties with the few people who at the time openly welcomed the children of poor African immigrants from Nigeria.
Antetokounmpo said that event will be for the benefit of children, not the media. He and his brother will also play a little basketball at a local open court, though his opponents shouldn’t be too worried.
He added: “I’ll play as long as my knee can carry me. I want to live this again. To continue getting better, stay hungry, stay winning and live such moments with Milwaukee and the Greek national team.
“This feeling of winning is addictive, because I’m a people pleaser. I want to win for (son) Liam, my mother, my family, my friends, for Greece.
“I might win the next title next year, or three years from now. But even if I never win another title in my life, I will still be OK, because that will have been God’s plan.”