Antetokounmpo: 'Greek' freak?
World-famous NBA basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo is someone that several tourists have associated with Greece and some of you ask me about.
Yes, he was born and raised in Athens, in 1994, to Nigerian parents who migrated to Greece for a better future, and they definitely didn't expect THAT kind of future... His parents were also athletes in Nigeria.
Little known fact is that for 18 years he couldn't travel abroad. That is because being born in Greece doesn't automatically provide someone the Greek citizenship. Therefore he didn't have a Greek, nor Nigerian, passport until he turned 18, and just two months before the 2013 NBA Draft... Finally, now he has a dual citizenship.
Within a few years he has won several awards and achieved multiple records, including 'Only non-American player in NBA history to win the All-Star Game MVP'.
Regarding his heritage, which has been a matter of debate in Greece, a country that is generally quite homogenous, he himself said in September 2023:
"I have the values and principles of Nigeria. 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. At the end of the day, everyone knows that I am Nigerian. I have this culture. In the summer I also went there with my mother, and I met my relatives. I was born in Greece, I have played with Greece, but we all know that I am Nigerian, African".
I hope that this helped a little bit...