Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke in a podcast about his origin and noted that, although he was born in Greece and has played for the Greek National Team, everyone knows he is Nigerian.
His parents left Nigeria to live better in Greece and Giannis, who was born in our country, grew up in Sepolia, Athens.
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In his response, he expressed that his values and principles are strongly influenced by his Nigerian upbringing. Growing up in a Nigerian household with Nigerian parents, he embraced the Nigerian culture.
Giannis also acknowledged the Greek and European influences in his life, particularly due to his education and friendships. He recognized the duality of his identity, stating, “It’s a little bit of both.”
“I think my values and principles are probably my Nigerian side because whenever I went home, my parents are Nigerian, so we grew up in Nigerian household… but the way I operate it’s a little bit Greek, it’s a little bit European because I went to school, most of my friends are Greek and European. It’s a little bit of both,” the Bucks star said.
Drawing a parallel with basketball legend Hakeem Olajuwon, who was born in Nigeria but represented the USA in international play, Giannis emphasized that despite representing Greece on the basketball court, his Nigerian heritage remains an integral part of his identity.
“That’s a great compliment to be in the same sentence as Hakeem Olajuwon. One of the best international players to ever play this game. For sure the best African player to ever play this game. I loved his game. I always tried to study his game. I loved that he did it the right way; he stuck with his teammates and won two championships”, he said.
Continuing to comment on the former Houston Rockets superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo praised him.
“If I can kind of take a few things from his game, or learn anything from the few days I’m going to spend with him, it’s going to be a blessing. It’s a guy I looked up to my whole life. It’s a guy my parents looked up to because he was the number one guy in Nigeria. He was the best athlete… in Africa”, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar commented.