Giannis Antetokounmpo in action for Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo (forward) of Milwaukee Bucks. (Image: FOX Sports Asia)

Reputable for his sturdy figure, speed and athleticism, Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek professional basketball player, is indeed one of the top NBA stars currently imprinting their names in the game of basketball. This Greek basketball star with a tricky name is a formidable foe as well as a key ally on the courts—his accurate passes, aggressive tackles, explosive shoots and coordinated steals speaks for his wits and style of play which is peculiar to him. We insightfully consider the rise of this NBA player to stardom, in our Giannis Antetokounmpo biography facts, childhood and personal life.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Biography Facts

Full Name:Giannis Sina Ougko Antetokounmpo
Nickname:The Greek Freak
Born:December 6, 1994 (age 25)
Place of Birth:Athens, Greece
Nationality:Greek (birth); Nigerian (origin)
Occupation:Basketball Player
Current Team:Milwaukee Bucks
Position:Forward / Guard
Playing Career:2012–present
Net Worth:$45 million
Height:6 ft 11 inches
Shoe Size:12
Weight:242 lb (110 kg)
Education:N/A
Parents:Charles Antetokounmpo (father); Veronica Antetokounmpo (mother)
Siblings:Thanasis Antetokounmpo; Alex Antetokounmpo; Francis Antetokounmpo; Kostas Antetokounmpo
Partner:Mariah Riddlesprigger (girlfriend)
Children:N/A
Zodiac Sign:Sagittarius

Giannis Antetokounmpo Childhood and Early Life

Childhood photo of Thanasis and his younger brother Giannis Antetokounmpo
Young Giannis and his older brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo. (Image: @Thanasis_ante43 via Twitter)

Three years after his parents emigrated from Lagos, Nigeria, leaving behind their first son, Thanasis, Giannis Antetokounmpo was birthed in Greece. He is the second of four kids (sons) given birth to by his parents. Despite being born in Greece, Antetokounmpo and his siblings didn’t qualify for Greek citizen as a result of Greece laws. Antetokounmpo’s parents immigrated to Greece for better employment opportunities, but upon arriving at Greece they were faced with the same issue of unemployment. As a result, Antetokounmpo and his brother, hawked bags, watches, and sunglasses to help meet their family’s financial needs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Childhood photo with his family
Childhood photo of young Giannis Antetokounmpo with his family (Image: @Thanasis_ante43 via Twitter)

Antetokounmpo began playing basketball in 2007. In 2009, he was actively involved in the game, playing for the youth team of Greek side Filathlitikos. Antetokounmpo continued to rise up in the ranks at Filathlitikos, which saw him join the senior team in 2011.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Basketball Career

Filathlitikos (2012–2013)

After joining Filathlitikos senior team, Antetokounmpo played in Greece’s semi-pro league as well as Greek 3rd Division. In the 2012 season, Antetokounmpo played in the Greek A2 league, Greece’s 2nd-tier basketball league. At the age of 18, in December 2012, Antetokounmpo signed a four-year contract with Spanish side CCAI Zaragoza despite interest from other clubs such as Barcelona and Efes. For the remainder of the season, Antetokounmpo played for Greek side Filathlitikos, where he recorded an average of 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26 games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo playing for Filathlitikos
Giannis Antetokounmpo playing for Filathlitikos (Image: Twitter)

Though Antetokounmpo, was not part of the all-star team, he was picked to participate in the 2013 Greek League All-Star games.

Milwaukee Bucks (2013–present)

In April 2013, Antetokounmpo entered the 2013 NBA Draft. He was a first-round pick when the Milwaukee Bucks picked him as its fifteenth overall pick. He signed his rookie contract with the bucks in July 2013. Antetokounmpo’s NBA debut season was a success as he topped the NBA rookie block chart with 61 blocks. As a result, he was picked to participate in the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend. He was also named to the 2013–14 NBA All-Rookie second team.

In October 2014, the Milwaukee Bucks extended Antetokounmpo contract till the 2015/16 season. Antetokounmpo was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week in February 2015, his first Player of the week honours. He also participated in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest that year. In the 2015/16 season, Antetokounmpo participated in the NBA Africa Exhibition game where he represented his country of origin, Nigeria. That season, the Milwaukee Bucks extended his contract till the 2016/17 season. He also set a new Bucks record at the age of 21, when he earned the first triple-bound of his career to become the youngest Bucks player to do so.

The 2016/17 season saw Antetokounmpo sign a four-year contract extension with Milwaukee Bucks worth $100 million. He further proved his worth again, when he earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honours in December. He also earned his first Eastern Conference Player of the Month honour during the season. On January 6, Antetokounmpo matched the longest streak by a Milwaukee Bucks player after scoring nothing less than 20 points in 14 successive games. Antetokounmpo was among the players who started on the Eastern-Conference All-Star team at the 2017 All-Star Game, this becoming the first Greek NBA All-Star and the youngest Milwaukee Bucks player to be featured as a starter in an All-Star Game. That season also saw Antetokounmpo become the first NBA player to finish the season in the top 20 spots in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. His success earned him a spot in the All-NBA second team. He also received the NBA Most Improved Player Honor, which made him the first Milwaukee Bucks player to earn the honour.

The first week of the 2017/18 season, saw Antetokounmpo earn the Eastern Conference Player of the Week honour. He also matches Shaquille O’Neal’s longest streak in the NBA after scoring nothing less than 20 points in 27 successive games. He was named as a starter to the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks for Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Forward / Guard) puts on a dunk for Milwaukee Bucks in a game against Cleveland Cavaliers. Lebron James couldn’t stop him. (Image: Dairyland Express)

In the 2018/19 season, Antetokounmpo was named Eastern Conference Player of the month as a result of his performance in games played between October 22-28 of that season. He also repeated the feat in November. Antetokounmpo was thus awarded the Eastern Conference Player of the Month Honors for October and November of the 2018/19 season. Antetokounmpo seemed to be pushing himself past his limits as he earned Eastern Conference Player of the Month Honor in December, which led to him receiving Player of the Month in December. As a result of his impressive form, he was named Euroscar European Player of the Year. Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they suffered defeat at the hands of Toronto Raptors.

National Team Career

Antetokounmpo debuted for Greece National team at the 2013 FIBA Europe U-20 Championship. He debuted for the Greek senior National team at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He also helped the Greek side to an impressive outing at the 2015 Eurobasket where they were eliminated by eventual champions, Spain the quarter-final. He also participated with the Greek National team at the 2016 Turin FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where they were defeated by Croatia.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Personal Life

  • Antetokounmpo name was originally Adetokunko which means “the crown has returned home”. The name Antetokounmpo stuck after Greek official wrongly spelt his father’s name.
  • His father, Charles died in 2017 at the age of 54.
  • His mother Veronica, named Antetokounmpo, a Nigerian name, Ougko.
  • His father is of the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria while his mother is of the Igbo tribe.
  • Antetokounmpo brothers are active basketball players. He was teammates with his brothers, Thanasis and Kostas at Filathlitikos.
  • Antetokounmpo and his elder brother Thanasis served a reduced three-month mandatory military service common to Greek citizens.
  • Antetokounmpo is currently dating Mariah Riddlesprigger.
Giannis Antetokounmpo with his girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger
Giannis Antetokounmpo with his girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger. He describes her as the reason he keeps fighting. (Image: @TheGreekOfficial via Facebook)

Giannis Antetokounmpo Highlights, Achievements and Awards

  1. NBA All-Star (2017–2019)
  2. All-NBA First Team (2019)
  3. All-NBA Second Team (2017, 2018)
  4. NBA All-Defensive First Team (2019)
  5. NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2017)
  6. NBA Most Improved Player (2017)
  7. NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2014)
  8. Euroscar European Player of the Year (2018)

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