Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece’s home-grown NBA All-star, made an emotional return to the city he grew up in and promised to assist children in Greece and Africa make it in existence.
with his brother Thanasis, who performs for the Spanish membership MoraBanc Andorra, the “Antetokounmbros” have begun providing a school scholarship in Athens for kids of migrants born in Greece.
“I used to be a younger child, 17 years old, and the americans came and gave me a chance,” 22-yr-old Giannis stated. “and that i want to be that American for the children right here in Greece and Africa.”
The brothers had been born in Greece to Nigerian folks, however as youngsters they bought trinkets on the streets of Athens to get with the aid of, and had been handiest granted Greek citizenship in 2013.
prior to an target audience at Greece’s Onassis Cultural Centre, the brothers spoke candidly about their hardscrabble childhood and said they felt humbled and obligated to assist others who grew up terrible.
“It’s simply incredible, how we began out once we have been little, and we find ourselves here now and giving alternatives to youngsters. Who would have believed it?,” Giannis stated.
Giannis — or the “Greek Freak” as he is recognized to basketball lovers international — is the youngest player ever to famous person in an NBA All-megastar sport.
His rags-to-riches story has moved and impressed Greeks.
On Sunday, the brothers played an exhibition recreation in Athens to a cheering crowd of thousands.
“i believe Greeks love us as a result of we are good youngsters, and because we take Greece with us anyplace we go and we endorse Greece lots,” Giannis stated.
“And we haven’t modified, we’re nonetheless the same because we had great oldsters, my ma and pa.”
The brothers choked again tears at the sound of their mom Veronica, sitting in the target audience on Saturday, singing a Greek nursery rhyme she used to wake them up with.
within the family’s previous regional of Sepolia, the basketball court where the brothers practised features a giant mural of Giannis in his Milwaukee Bucks jersey.
And in a cafe throughout the highway, the jersey Giannis wore in 2014 when he played on Greece’s national team hangs on the wall.
“What they have got complete is a feat” stated Yannis Tzikas, the cafe’s owner, who has identified the brothers since they were skinny schoolkids and still flies out to fits to strengthen them.
“It’s so moving, after the misery and poverty they went via,’’ he stated.