Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo, born December 6, 1994, is a Greek-Nigerian professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
His country of origin, as well as his size, speed, strength, and ball-handling skills, have earned him the nickname “Greek Freak.”
Antetokounmpo is widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards and one of the greatest European players of all time.
Early life and Education
Giannis Sina Ugo Adetokunbo was born on December 6, 1994, in Athens, Greece, to Nigerian immigrants.
His father played soccer in Nigeria, and his mother was a high jumper.
They had migrated from Lagos three years before, leaving their firstborn son, Francis, in the care of his grandparents.
Adetokunbo grew up in the Athens area of Sepolia, where he described his family as “Nigerian” with “no Greek culture.”
It’s pure Nigerian culture.”
His parents, as immigrants without a permit, were unable to find jobs.
So Giannis and his older brother Thanasis assisted by selling watches, purses, and sunglasses on the streets.
Antetokounmpo, who was born and reared in Athens to Nigerian parents, began playing basketball with the Filathlitikos youth teams in Athens.
He began playing for the club’s senior squad in 2011 before entering the 2013 NBA draft, where he was taken 15th overall by the Bucks.
In 2016-17, he led the Bucks in all five major statistical categories.
Becoming the first player in NBA history to finish a regular season in the top 20 in all five statistics of total points, rebounds, assists, thefts, and blocks.
In 2017, he was named the Most Improved Player.
Antetokounmpo has been named as an All-Star captain seven times, including in 2019, 2020, and 2023, when he led the Eastern Conference in vote.
Antetokounmpo, one of the most decorated players in NBA history.
Won consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to win two MVPs before the age of 26.
Along with his MVP award, he was voted NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, becoming only the third player after Michael Jordan (1988) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994) to win both awards in the same season.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first NBA championship since 1971 in 2021 and was awarded Finals MVP.
The same year, he was honored as one of the league’s greatest players of all time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
Rise, a film based on Antetokounmpo and his family’s lives, was released in 2022.
Gianni’s father, Charles died in September 2017 at the age of 54.
His mother, Veronica gave each of her five sons Greek and Nigerian names, with Giannis given the Nigerian name Ugo.
According to basketball legend Hakeem Olajuwon, who is also Yoruba, Adetokunbo’s original family name translates to “the crown has returned from overseas.”
Giannis has two older brothers, Francis (also known as Andreas in Greek) and Thanasis, and two younger brothers, Kostas and Alex.
His girlfriend, Mariah Riddlesprigger, gave birth to their first son in February 2020.
In August 2021, she gave birth to a second son.