ATHENS – Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the Greek brothers who helped the Milawaukee Bucks win their first NBA trophy championship in 50 years last month, have vowed to bring their trophy back to Sepolia, the dilapidated part of Athens where they grew up.
Born in Greece to Nigerian immigrant parents, the Antetokounmpo brothers had to sell trinkets in the streets to get by. They grew up in fear of deportation and only obtained Greek citizenship in 2013.
“I am very, very happy that one of the biggest NBA trophy in the world is in Greece right now,” Giannis said at a press conference while visiting Athens with his brother by his side.
“It‘s an incredible thing. We don’t know how many days we’ll be staying, but we definitely want to bring it back to Sepolia and the places where we grew up.
Giannis – sometimes nicknamed “the Greek Freak” – was the dominant player in the final series against the Phoenix Suns, scoring 50 points in the last game and taking home the MVP award. Thanasis was forced to skip the last two matches of the final under COVID-19 protocols.
The extraordinary rise of the Sepolia brothers in the NBA has captured the imagination of all of Greece, where basketball normally follows football in popularity.
In their former neighborhood, rarely celebrated in the headlines, a giant mural of Giannis in his Milwaukee Bucks jersey, across the field where he and his brothers played and trained, is a testament to the pride felt in his success. that they won NBA trophy
“This trip has been crazy. If you told me eight years ago that I would be in this position, with Thanasis, and that we would have the NBA Trophy with us, and we can take it anywhere we want, I would say you’re crazy, ” he said.
“But it was all done with hard work – and we didn’t stop. We don’t stop, as a family. This is what we have seen our whole life, our parents never stopped, we came home after school, after training and we saw our parents working constantly, every day to feed us.
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