Giannis Antetokounmpo reveals he has the values ​​and principles of Nigeria

Despite playing for Greece, Giannis Antetokounmpo embraces Nigerian heritage and reveals he has the values ​​and principles of Nigeria.

Greek professional basketball player of Nigerian descent Giannis Antetokounmpo has made headlines this week.

The 28-year-old has been trending on social media as he talked about a variety of issues.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nigerian heritage

Despite playing for the Greece National Team in international competitions, Giannis Antetokounmpo emphasized that his morals and principles are heavily impacted by his Nigerian heritage and culture.

Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed his background in the “48 Minutes” podcast, and his remarks on Nigeria have since gained widespread attention.

Even though he was born in Greece and represented the Greek national team, the great player for the Milwaukee Bucks said that everyone knows he is Nigerian.The Greek team's 2023 FIBA World Cup roster was just made public by FIBA, and it featured Giannis Antetokounmpo as well as his brothers Thanasis and Kostas.The Greek team’s 2023 FIBA World Cup roster was just made public by FIBA, and it featured Giannis Antetokounmpo as well as his brothers Thanasis and Kostas.

Giannis Antetokounmpo background

Giannis was born in Greece in 1994 after his parents emigrated there in search of a better life.

Due to the immigration status of his parents, Giannis Antetokounmpo was born and raised in Greece but did not possess a passport.In the photos, Giannis the 2021 NBA Finals MVP is spotted with his mother, Veronica Antetokounmpo in LagosIn the photos, Giannis the 2021 NBA Finals MVP is spotted with his mother, Veronica Antetokounmpo in Lagos
Giannis filed for a Greek passport after turning 18; he acquired it on May 9th, 2013, about six months later than his birthday and not long before the 2014 NBA Draft.

Giannis on Nigerian values and principles

The Nigerian Freak explained that he was brought up in the Nigeria culture despite being raised in Greece.

He said, “I have the values ​​and principles of Nigeria.Giannis hinted to his first trip to Nigeria when he celebrated his father's Poverty Is No Joke campaign with Hasan Minhaj, an American comedian, political commentator, and actor.Giannis hinted to his first trip to Nigeria when he celebrated his father’s Poverty Is No Joke campaign with Hasan Minhaj, an American comedian, political commentator, and actor.
“After all, my parents are Nigerian and I grew up in such an environment.

“Of course, I was born in Greece, I grew up in Greece, with the European mentality, so I have information from both sides.”

Giannis drew a comparison between the basketball star and stressed that although though he plays basketball for Greece, his Nigerian origin still plays a crucial role in who he is.On the 48 Minutes podcast, Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed his intentions to travel to Houston to train with Nigerian legend Hakeem Olajuwon. Image Credit - ImagoOn the 48 Minutes podcast, Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed his intentions to travel to Houston to train with Nigerian legend Hakeem Olajuwon. Image Credit – Imago

Giannis and Hakeem Olajwuon

Antetokounmpo spoke about his plans to visit Houston in the months leading up to the 2023–24 season to work out with retired American professional basketball player of Nigerian ancestry Hakeem Olajuwon on the 48 Minutes podcast.

Olajuwon joins former legends like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett who have previously collaborated with the Greek Freak.Hakeem Olajuwon is regarded as the best basketball product born in NigeriaHakeem Olajuwon is regarded as the best basketball product born in Nigeria


In the past, Antetokounmpo has said he prefers to work out with retired athletes than his league opponents.

Since they both sport the number 34 and are of Nigerian heritage, Antetokounmpo and Olajuwon were compared in the interview.

Olajuwon was born in Lagos but migrated overseas, whereas Antetokounmpo was born to Nigerian parents in Greece.Giannis has always embraced his Nigerian heritage. (Photo Credit: Giannis/Instagram)Giannis has always embraced his Nigerian heritage. (Photo Credit: Giannis/Instagram)
Despite having ties to Nigeria, Antetokoumpo represents the Greek national team, whereas Olajuwon, who was born in Lagos, chose to represent the United States.

Giannis, who just traveled to Nigeria with his mother, said that Olajuwon was an inspiration to him.

He said, “That’s a great compliment to be in the same sentence as Hakeem Olajuwon.Before the game, Giannis stated that he admires Messi for all he has accomplished in football. (Giannis/Instagram)Before the game, Giannis stated that he admires Messi for all he has accomplished in football. (Giannis/Instagram)
“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.

“This season for the training camp I have a trip that I’m going to go down to Houston and try to work out with Hakeem Olajuwon.Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated his father's Poverty Is No Joke initiative and teased a visit to Nigeria in the future.Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated his father’s Poverty Is No Joke initiative and teased a visit to Nigeria in the future.
“I love his game and 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 because he was the number one guy in Nigeria. He was the best athlete in Africa.”

In NBA history, Michael Jordan is the only other player to have won both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season in addition to Antetokounmpo and Olajuwon.

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