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Giannis Antetokuonmpo Paves the Way for More Cross-Cultural Athletes

Giannis Antetokounmpo

WHO IS GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO?

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo CC BY-SA 2.0

Also known as the “Greek Freak” by many basketball fans, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the middle child of five brothers with Nigerian parents. Despite being born in Athens, Greece, the Antetokounmpo family were originally immigrants to the European country.

At just the age of 18, the Greek Freak added more to his cultural resume by traveling to New York for the 2013 NBA draft, and the Milwaukee Bucks subsequently selected him.

GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND THE ACCOLADES

Not only has he made his case for being possibly the best player in the NBA right now, but he has adopted U.S. traditions and even helped add his touch of culture to the U.S. population.

Giannis Antetokuonmpo (CC BY 2.0)

Whether it be through his simple sense of humor or trying the learn how to pronounce everyday items in the U.S., Antetokounmpo has made it clear that he likes local traditions. Oftentimes he recalls stories about his family struggling in the streets of Athens and selling whatever they could get their hands on.

Since he was 6 years old, he had seen how his family was “shunned” by their surrounding community and saw basketball as a chance to integrate cultures. Teams and fanbases all over the globe see a phenomenon inspire everyone around him while maintaining his cultural background.

If you are going to do something, you have to do it yourself, and that’s what I try to do. I try to be authentic and be original, so that’s what I try to be. A lot of people try building big brands but have received bad advice, and they don’t try to be authentic and real with themselves.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Nicola Jokic
Nicola Jokic (CC BY 2.0)

HAS ANTETOKUONMPO PAVED A WAY?

For current and future players, the Greek Freak has made mixing foreign cultures common in the NBA.

Players such as Nikola “Joker” Jokic and Luka Doncic have cross-cultural backgrounds.

After coming into the league after Antetokounmpo, it’s fair to say that a trail has been blazed for many cross-cultural basketball players.

It is safe to say that all of these cross-cultural players are among the league’s very best talents. Along with many others, I believe that cross-cultural players are going to keep coming along and creating inspiration.

Who will be the next culturally fluid superstar?

GENERATING SUCCESS: GIANNIS ATENTOKUONMPO

  • NBA Champion
  • 2X MVP
  • 6X NBA All-Star
  • NBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • NBA Most Improved Player of the Year
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