HoopsHype Giannis Antetokoumpo rumors


October 31, 2013 Updates
October 23, 2013 Updates

The interest from NBA personnel departments helped the brothers earn spots on the Greek National Team. An issue had to be resolved, however. In order to travel they needed passports. To have a passport, they needed citizenship. Giannis, Thanasis, Kostas and Alex (the four children) were all born in Greece, but as children of Nigerian immigrants they were never recognized as Greeks. Nothing was ever steady, certain. They faced evictions, moved from place to place. They had survived together as a family, the boys selling sunglasses, hats and bags on the street. (Mother) Veronica babysat, (Father) Charles worked as a handyman. Once Giannis and Thanasis picked up basketball, they shared the same shoes. “For 20 years they were illegal,” he continued. “It’s very hard to live for 20 years without papers. Very, very hard. You have children and you have to go out and work without papers. At any moment, the cops can stop you and say come over here and let me send you back to your country. For me, my parents, they are heroes.” OnMilwaukee.com

Coach Larry Drew is not ready to commit to putting the 6-foot-9 youngster into the playing rotation when the regular season begins next week. The Bucks may want to be cautious when it comes to a player they value so highly. "I think he's made the most of his minutes in the preseason," Drew said after a workout Tuesday at Attack Athletics on Chicago's west side. "Still there's a lot he has to learn. "He has to learn the pace and the speed at this level. We're still trying to work with him from the language side of it, making sure he understands our terminology. I can see at times he's still lost out there, but that's going to be part of it with an 18-year-old kid coming from a different country. "He has definitely shown some flashes. But we just have to continue to work with him and hopefully he can get to the point where we can get him out there." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

October 22, 2013 Updates
October 16, 2013 Updates

Otherwise, the Bucks are beginning to suspect they may have caught lightning in a bottle with this very raw but potentially explosive talent. "He is capable of grabbing the rebound and taking it the length of the court," Van Exel said. "He has to get to the point where he is comfortable doing that here. I tell him all the time, 'Look, sometimes when you get that ball off the rebound, don't be afraid to make a play.' "What he's doing now is dribbling it across half-court and just passing it to the guards. We want to see him make plays because he has that capability. If he's able to do that, it strengthens our ballclub." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

September 26, 2013 Updates

Antetokounmpo's success has heartened many Greeks desperate for their country to become an incubator of dreams instead of a dead zone of joblessness. His parents, Charles and Veronica, moved from Lagos, Nigeria, to Athens in 1991. They left their young son, Francis, with his grandparents. Charles says there were no opportunities in the Nigerian economy. "It was very hard to get a job," he says. People felt opportunity slipping away. "That's why we decided to leave, too." NPR

July 30, 2013 Updates
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July 16, 2013 Updates

Larry Drew traveled half the world in order not only to see live Giannis Antetokounmpo on the court, but also to meet him for the first time and get to know him as a person. The Greek national team is still unbeaten after six games in the European U20 championship and Antetokounmpo has already demonstrated some impressive all around skills. Coach Drew was sitting in the stands during the last two games and saw what Antetokounmpo can be: A real point forward who can contribute points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. The upside of the player is huge, however at this point he is still a project. That’s why the number 15 pick of the 2013 draft has a lot of work to do in order to reach his full potential. EuroHoops.net

July 11, 2013 Updates

Bucks first-round draft choice Giannis Antetokounmpo led Greece to its second straight victory in the Under-20 European Championship on Thursday in Tallinn, Estonia. The 6-foot-9 forward finished with a team-high 20 points as Greece defeated Germany, 65-56, in Group A competition. Greece will play Georgia on Friday. Antetokounmpo helped seal the victory by scoring four points in the final 11 seconds, all coming at the free throw line. He sank two foul shots for a 63-56 lead, then blocked a shot and grabbed a defensive rebound. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

July 10, 2013 Updates
July 5, 2013 Updates

The racial slur directed at Milwaukee Bucks rookie forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was condemned Friday by an association of Greek Americans, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). The slur was made by Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party. He likened the 6-foot-9 player to a "chimpanzee" in a television interview Tuesday. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

July 4, 2013 Updates

Greece's basketball federation has condemned remarks by the leader of an extreme right Greek political party who likened a recent NBA draft pick to a ''chimpanzee.'' The federation on Thursday described the remarks aimed at Giannis Antetokounmpo as ''unacceptable and racist.'' Antetokounmpo is an 18-year-old Greek shooting guard and the son of Nigerian immigrants. He was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks and received this week in Athens by conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Yahoo! Sports

July 3, 2013 Updates

Giannis Antetokounmpo is not only an extremely talented but raw NBA rookie. In Greece he is also the reason for a heated political debate. The financial crisis is still a hard reality for the country, extreme right wing politics are entering the main agenda of the government and one of those politics was the abolition of the law 3838. This law was introduced by the previews government and if it was used, it would give the Greek nationality to every child born in Greek soil and raised in the country, no matter if its parents were illegal immigrants. EuroHoops.net

Antetokounmpo is one of those children, but his basketball talents gave him and his brother the Greek nationality, even under the current law because “of special services to the country”. As the Greek ministry of internal affairs clarified in a press release on Tuesday: “The nationality was given lawfully to the two young men, based on the legal provisions for stateless individuals. Those specific provisions apply to the case of children which are born in Greece and are stateless”. The ministry confirmed that the process of Antetokounmpos brothers, Giannis and Thanasis, getting the Greek nationality was fast tracked in order for him to have the legal right to be part of the NBA draft. That was the reason of his absence from Nike’s hoops summit, since he wasn’t entitled to any kind of traveling documents at the time. EuroHoops.net

The 18-year-old is particularly happy that he can finally provide a way for his family to escape the poor neighborhood that he and his family grew up in back home in Athens. But how can anyone be expected to handle such a radical culture shock and then go to work and do his job? "It's difficult," Hammond admitted. "I don't want to keep saying that the basketball, the being on the floor between then lines is going to be the easy part. But to a certain extent, it will be. it's can he handle everything that goes along with getting to the floor." 620 WTMJ Milwaukee

And that's the big question that will need to be answered, along with the question of can someone who so little is known about turn into a star. But, just by virtue of securing a guaranteed contract, Antetokounmpo is a star provider in his heretofore poor family. "We're going to have a better life," he concluded. "My brothers will get to go to better schools." 620 WTMJ Milwaukee

July 2, 2013 Updates
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