Giannis Antetokounmpo, nicknamed the “Greek Freak”, has been dishonoured in the most shocking and reprehensible way known.
In the southern municipality of Paleo Faliro in southern Athens, there is a mural of Antetokounmpo that immortalises the NBA star who currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks.
However, despite completing his mandatory military service, being baptised Greek Orthodox, having a Greek name and always showing off his patriotic pride for Greece, it is clear that for a minority of people, successful integration stories like that of the Antetokounmpo family, is not enough.
The mural dedicated to the Greek Freak was vanadalised with a swastika and the Schutzstaffel, or more commonly known as the SS, emblem.
The SS were the most radical organisation in Nazi Germany and were responsible for the Holocaust and other atrocities.
Although born in Greece, Antetokounmpo did not receive Greek citizenship until May 9, 2013. In the same year, he had the option to play for Nigeria in basketball as it is the birthplace of his parents, however he played for the Greek Under-20 national team at the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship.
In 2014, Antetokounmpo started playing for the senior men’s Greek national basketball team for the first time and at the EuroBasket 2015 competition he helped Greece reach the quarterfinals where they eventually lost to Spain.
At Milwaukee, he has already become a legend and achieved the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2019 and was in the NBA All-Star in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s younger brother Alex Antetokounmpo will be starting his professional career in Spain, after signing a three-year deal with UCAM Murcia, as reported by Greek City Times.
The 17-year-old graduated from Dominican High School, where he showcased his talent, got notable offers from the NCAA but decided on turning pro in Europe as a means to prepare for the next step in his career – the NBA.