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Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokoummpo (31669417562).jpg
Antetokounmpo with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016
No. 34 – Milwaukee Bucks
Position Small forward / Guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1994-12-06) December 6, 1994 (age 22)
Athens, Greece
Nationality Greek
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 222 lb (101 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15th overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career 2012–present
Career history
2012–2013 Filathlitikos
2013–present Milwaukee Bucks
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greek: Γιάννης Αντετοκούνμπο,[1] IPA: [ˈʝanis adetoˈkumbo]; born December 6, 1994)[2] is a Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He stands at 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m), and while he primarily plays the small forward position, he is equally as effective as a guard due to his sound ball-handling skills. During the 2015–16 season, he began to shine as the Bucks' primary playmaker.[3] Antetokounmpo blossomed into an all-round superstar in 2016–17, as he led the Bucks in all five major statistical categories and became the first player in NBA history to finish a regular season in the top 20 in total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.[4] He is of Nigerian descent.[5][6]

Early life

The son of immigrants from Nigeria, Antetokounmpo was born in Athens, Greece on December 6, 1994. Three years earlier, his parents had moved from Lagos, Nigeria, to Greece, leaving behind their first born son, Francis, with his grandparents.[7] Even though Antetokounmpo and three of his four brothers were born in Greece, they did not automatically qualify to receive full Greek citizenship.[5] For the first 18 years of his life, Antetokounmpo had no papers, neither from Nigeria, nor from Greece.[8]

Antetokounmpo grew up in the Athens neighborhood of Sepolia.[6] Like many other immigrants to Greece, his parents struggled to find work. Antetokounmpo and his older brother, Thanasis, helped out by hawking items such as watches, bags and sunglasses.[9] In 2007, Antetokounmpo started playing basketball[8] and by 2009 was playing competitively for the youth squad of Filathlitikos.

Professional career

Filathlitikos (2012–2013)

In 2012, Antetokounmpo joined the senior squad of Filathlitikos and played for them in Greece's second-tier basketball league, the Greek A2 League, during the 2012–13 season.

In December 2012, just days after turning 18, Antetokounmpo signed a four-year deal with Spanish club CAI Zaragoza,[10] reportedly including NBA buyouts after each season. A number of other major European clubs had been interested in adding him as well, including Barcelona and Efes, among others.[5] With the contract starting with the 2013–14 season, he decided to stay with the Filathlitikos for the remainder of the 2012–13 season.

During the 2012–13 Greek A2 League season, Antetokounmpo shot 46.4% from the field (62.1% on two-point field goals), 31.3% from three-point range, and 72.0% from the free throw line, while averaging 22.5 minutes per game. Over 26 games, he averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game.[11] He was also selected by the coaches as a special participant in the 2013 Greek League All-Star Game. Even though he was not actually selected as an all-star, the coaches let him play in the game as a treat for the fans.[12]

Milwaukee Bucks (2013–present)

2013–14 season

On April 28, 2013, Antetokounmpo officially made himself eligible for the 2013 NBA draft.[13] He fulfilled his draft projections as a first-round pick by being selected 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. On July 30, 2013, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Bucks.[14][15]

Antetokounmpo averaged 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 77 appearances during his rookie season. He scored in double figures 23 times and grabbed 10+ rebounds twice, with both efforts resulting in double-doubles. He finished the season with 61 total blocks, which led all NBA rookies and was the seventh-most by a Bucks rookie in franchise history. He was selected to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, where he tallied nine points, two rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes. At the season's end, he was named to the 2013–14 NBA All-Rookie second team.[16]

2014–15 season

Antetokounmpo with the Bucks in November 2014

On October 16, 2014, the Bucks exercised their third-year team option on Antetokounmpo's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2015–16 season.[17] On February 6, 2015, he recorded a then career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds in a loss to the Houston Rockets.[18] Three days later, he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played February 2–8, earning player of the week honors for the first time in his career.[19] He later competed in the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend in New York. On March 9, he scored a then career-high 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.[20] The Bucks finished the regular season with a 41–41 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. He missed just one game during the 2014–15 season, averaging 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 81 games. In the Bucks' first round playoff match-up with the Chicago Bulls, they were defeated 4 games to 2.

2015–16 season

On August 1, 2015, Antetokounmpo played for Team Africa in the 2015 NBA Africa exhibition game, representing Nigeria due to his parents being born there.[21]

On October 26, 2015, the Bucks exercised their fourth-year team option on Antetokounmpo's rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2016–17 season.[22] Antetokounmpo improved his scoring to begin the 2015–16 season, averaging 16 points per game over the first 20 games. He also had a high two-point field goal percentage, hovering around 53% from inside the three-point line.[23] On November 19, he scored a then career-high 33 points in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.[24] On December 12, he recorded a near triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, helping the Bucks snap the Golden State Warriors' unbeaten start to the season with a 108–95 win.[25] On January 15, 2016, he recorded 28 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in a 108–101 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks.[26]

On February 22, 2016, Antetokounmpo recorded his first career triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 108–101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. At 21 years old, he became the youngest Buck to record a triple-double.[27][28] On March 13, he recorded his fourth triple-double in 11 games with 28 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 14 assists in a 109–100 win over the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first Bucks player with four triple-doubles in a season.[29] On April 1, he recorded his fifth triple-double of the season with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 113–110 win over the Orlando Magic.[30] Two days later, he scored a career-high 34 points in a 102–98 loss to the Chicago Bulls.[31]

2016–17 season

On September 19, 2016, Antetokounmpo agreed to a four-year, $100 million contract extension with the Bucks.[32] In the Bucks' season opener on October 26, Antetokounmpo scored a game-high 31 points in a 107–96 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.[33] On November 21, he recorded his sixth career triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, five steals, and three blocks in a 93–89 win over the Orlando Magic.[34] On November 29, he tied a career high with 34 points and added 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks in a 118–101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.[35] On December 5, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, November 28 through Sunday, December 4. Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks to a 3–0 week, averaging 24.3 points (fourth in the East), 10.0 rebounds (tied for fifth in the East), 6.3 assists and a league-leading 3.67 steals.[36] On December 7, he recorded his second triple-double of the season with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 115–107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It was his seventh career triple-double; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the franchise record with eight.[37] On December 23, he had a career-high 39 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 123–96 win over the Washington Wizards.[38] On December 31, he recorded 35 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a career-high seven blocks in a 116–96 win over the Chicago Bulls.[39] On January 4, 2017, he recorded 27 points and 13 rebounds and made a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to give the Bucks a 105–104 victory over the New York Knicks.[40] With 25 points against the Knicks on January 6, Antetokounmpo had at least 20 points in his 14th consecutive game, matching the longest streak by a Bucks player since Michael Redd in 2006.[41] On January 19, Antetokounmpo was named a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.[42]

On February 10, 2017, Antetokounmpo set a new career high with 41 points in a 122–114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.[43] On February 19, 2017, he became the Bucks' first All-Star since Michael Redd in 2004, and the first starter since Sidney Moncrief in 1986.[44] At 22 years and 74 days old, he became the youngest player in franchise history to start in an All-Star Game. He also became the first Greek NBA All-Star.[45] In the game, he led the East with 30 points in what was a 192–182 loss to the West. On April 3, 2017, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for games played in March. The award marked the first of Antetokounmpo's career and the first for a Buck since Michael Redd won the award in January 2004. Antetokounmpo joined Redd, Terry Cummings (January 1985) and Sidney Moncrief (December 1981) as the only four Bucks players to be named Eastern Conference Player of the Month.[46] Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks finish an Eastern Conference-best 14–4 in March, the franchise's first calendar month with at least 14 victories since going 16–2 in February 1971. He averaged 22.4 points (ninth in the East), 8.4 rebounds (10th in the East), 4.8 assists, 1.78 blocked shots (fourth in the East) and 1.33 steals in 18 games during the month.[47] On April 10, he recorded his third triple-double of the season with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in an 89–79 win over Charlotte, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career Bucks record of eight.[48] Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in every one of the five major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks) in the 2016–17 regular season, becoming only the fifth NBA player to do so after Dave Cowens, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James.[49] He also became the first player in NBA history to finish in the top 20 in the league in each of the five major categories in a regular season.[50] As a result of his efforts, Antetokounmpo was named to the All-NBA Second Team, earning his first All-NBA honor.[51] He was also named the recipient of the NBA Most Improved Player Award for the 2016–17 season, becoming the first player in Bucks history to be named Most Improved Player.[52]

On April 15, 2017, Antetokounmpo scored a playoff career-high 28 points in a 97–83 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. Playing his second career playoff series, Antetokounmpo made 13 of 18 shots, and added eight rebounds and three assists.[53] In Game 5 of the series on April 24, Antetokounmpo set a new playoff career high with 30 points, but could not lead the Bucks to a win as they lost 118–93 to go down 3–2 in the series.[54] The Bucks went on to lose Game 6 three days later despite a 34-point effort from Antetokounmpo, as they bowed out of the playoffs with a 4–2 defeat.[55]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2013–14 Milwaukee 77 23 24.6 .414 .347 .683 4.4 1.9 .8 .8 6.8
2014–15 Milwaukee 81 71 31.4 .491 .159 .741 6.7 2.6 .9 1.0 12.7
2015–16 Milwaukee 80 79 35.3 .506 .257 .724 7.7 4.3 1.2 1.4 16.9
2016–17 Milwaukee 80 80 35.6 .522 .272 .770 8.7 5.4 1.6 1.9 22.9
Career 318 253 31.8 .497 .277 .740 6.9 3.6 1.1 1.3 14.9
All-Star 1 1 23.0 .824 .000 1.000 6.0 1.0 3.0 1.0 30.0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2015 Milwaukee 6 6 33.5 .366 .000 .739 7.0 2.7 .5 1.5 11.5
2017 Milwaukee 6 6 40.5 .536 .400 .543 9.5 4.0 2.2 1.7 24.8
Career 12 12 37.0 .470 .364 .609 8.3 3.3 1.3 1.6 18.2

Greek A2 Basket League

Season Team GP MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2012–13 Filathlitikos 26 22.5 .464 .313 .720 5.0 1.4 .7 1.0 9.5
Career 26 22.5 .464 .313 .720 5.0 1.4 .7 1.0 9.5

National team career

Antetokounmpo represented Greece for the first time in July 2013 with the Greek Under-20 national team at the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. He helped Greece to an 8–2 record and a fifth place overall finish, while averaging 8.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists across the 10 games. He finished the tournament ranked second in defensive rebounds (7.0) and seventh in blocked shots (1.4).[2]

In 2014, Antetokounmpo played for the senior men's Greek national basketball team for the first time, helping Greece finish ninth overall in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup with a 5–1 record. He averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds across the six games, while shooting 45.8% from the field.[56]

Antetokounmpo again joined the Greek national team for EuroBasket 2015. Greece's roster consisted of many experienced players, most of them previously crowned European champions with their clubs, like Vassilis Spanoulis, Ioannis Bourousis and Nikos Zisis, and Greece was a favorite for a medal, after showing great form in friendly games.[57] At EuroBasket 2015, Greece was unbeaten in the group stages, and reached the quarter-finals, where a tight game ended in favor of the eventual champions, Spain. Antetokounmpo finished the tournament with three double-doubles, and a career-high 17 rebounds against Spain, leading his team in rebounds for the tournament. In eight games, he averaged 9.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.[58]

Antetokounmpo also played with Greece at the 2016 Turin FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where he averaged 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals, and 2.0 blocks per game in 3 games played.[59] Greece failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics, after being eliminated by Croatia, by a score of 66–61.[60]

Personal life

He officially gained Greek citizenship on May 9, 2013,[61] with the official legal spelling of his name being Giannis Antetokounmpo.[62] His nickname is "The Greek Freak".[63]

Antetokounmpo's father, Charles, is a former Nigerian soccer player, while his mother, Veronica, was a high-jumper.[7] Veronica gave each of her four sons born in Greece both a Greek and a Nigerian name. The name she chose for Giannis was Ougko (OO-goh)[needs IPA].[64]

Antetokounmpo has two older brothers, Francis and Thanasis, as well as two younger brothers, Kostas and Alexis.[65] He and Thanasis were teammates in Filathlitikos, with Kostas later joining the squad in 2013–14. His oldest brother, Francis, has played football professionally in Nigeria. The whole Antetokounmpo family moved from Athens to Milwaukee in early 2014.[66] In July 2016, Giannis and Thanasis began their mandatory military service in Greece. The two brothers served a reduced three-month military service, as prescribed for Greek citizens who are permanent overseas residents.[67]

Antetokounmpo is an avid fan of Greek club Olympiacos.[68][69][70][71]

Thanasis was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 51st overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.[72] Antetokounmpo's younger brother Kostas plays college basketball in the United States at the University of Dayton,[73] while his youngest brother, Alexis, plays high school basketball in the US.[74]

Awards and accomplishments

See also

References

  1. ^ His official surname (Αντετοκούνμπο) is a Greek transcription of his parents' Yoruba language name Adetokunbo; in Greek, ‹ντ› is used for /d/, ‹ου› for /u/, and ‹μπ› for /b/. This is usually transliterated letter-for-letter back into the Latin alphabet as Antetokounmpo.
  2. ^ a b "Giannis Antetokounmpo". FIBAEurope.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ Aschburner, Steve (March 8, 2016). "'Point forward' more than a novelty for Antetokounmpo". NBA.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes breakout season in league of his own". NBA.com. April 12, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Hein, David (March 16, 2013). "Adetokoubo's whirlwind saga just starting". FIBA.com. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Hein, David (July 13, 2013). "Greek-Nigerian prodigy makes NBA dream come true". FIBA.com. Retrieved January 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "NBA Rookie Wants To Bring Hope To Greece, And To Milwaukee". NPR.com. September 26, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Triantafyllos, Stefanos (July 8, 2013). "Heated Debate Around Antetokounmpo's Home Reflects Rift in Birthplace of Democracy". NBA.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  9. ^ Maguire, Ken (June 26, 2013). "A Hunger for a Better Life May Lead to the N.B.A.". NYTimes.com. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Basket CAI Zaragoza se hace con los derechos de Giannis Adetocunbo". ACB.com (in Spanish). December 17, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Giannis Antetokoubo profile". FIBA.com. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Όλα τα αστέρια στο All Star Game". Sports24.gr (in Greek). March 6, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Giannis Adetokunbo (@GAdetokunbo) has...". Twitter. April 28, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
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  33. ^ "Kidd-Gilchrist, Hibbert help Hornets beat Bucks 107-96". ESPN.com. October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
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  35. ^ "Antetokounmpo ties career scoring high, Bucks rout Cavs". ESPN.com. November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
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  39. ^ "Antetokounmpo scores 35 as Bucks beat Bulls 116-96". ESPN.com. December 31, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Antetokounmpo's jumper at buzzer gives Bucks win over Knicks". ESPN.com. January 4, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Knicks rally from 18 down, beat Bucks 116-111 to snap skid". ESPN.com. January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  42. ^ "Curry, Durant and four first-time starters highlight starting lineups for NBA All-Star 2017". NBA.com. January 19, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  43. ^ "Lakers survive late Bucks rally to win 122-114". ESPN.com. February 10, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
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  46. ^ "GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO NAMED KIA NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE MONTH". NBA.com. April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
  47. ^ "Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard named Kia NBA Players of the Month". NBA.com. April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017. 
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  50. ^ Cato, Tim (April 12, 2017). "Giannis Antetokounmpo became the 1st player to finish in the top-20 in all major stats". SBNation.com. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
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  53. ^ "Antetokounmpo scores 28 points, Bucks beat Raptors 97-83". ESPN.com. April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 
  54. ^ "Powell scores 25 as Raptors beat Bucks 118-93 in Game 5". ESPN.com. April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  55. ^ "Whew! Raptors blow 25-point lead, but beat Bucks 92-89". ESPN.com. April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  56. ^ "2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup – Giannis Antetokounmpo". FIBA.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  57. ^ "Greece Win Acropolis Tournament". eurobasket2015.org. August 30, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  58. ^ "Giannis Antetokounmpo". eurobasket2015.org. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  59. ^ 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Greece 34 - Giannis Antetokounmpo.
  60. ^ Game: GREECE vs CROATIA (Group 7) Date: 8 July 2016.
  61. ^ "Έλληνες πολίτες οι αδερφοί Αντετοκούμπο". Sport24.gr. May 9, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  62. ^ "Giannis Antetokounmpo received today his...". Twitter. May 9, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  63. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (March 18, 2014). "From street vendor to surging NBA player, Greek Freak living the American dream". Yahoo.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  64. ^ Chouinard, KL (January 2, 2014). "Giannis Antetokounmpo's other name". Bucksketball.com. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  65. ^ Helin, Kurt (October 23, 2013). "Greece wanted nothing to do with his family until NBA noticed Antetokounmpo's basketball skills". NBCSports.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  66. ^ Gruman, Andrew (February 3, 2014). "Family matters: Bucks rookie Antetokounmpo reunited with family". FoxSports.com. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  67. ^ "Antetokounmpo brothers to begin 3-month military service". naftemporiki. July 12, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2016. 
  68. ^ "Ολυμπιακός από κούνια ο Αντετοκούνμπο". sentragoal.gr (in Greek). May 10, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  69. ^ "Ο Ολυμπιακός Αντετοκούνμπο". gavros.gr (in Greek). March 23, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  70. ^ "NBA: Ο Ολυμπιακός ψήφισε τον "ερυθρόλευκο" Αντετοκούνμπο". newsit.gr (in Greek). January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  71. ^ "Με τη φανέλα του Ολυμπιακού ο Αντετοκούνμπο" (in Greek). November 5, 2016. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  72. ^ Steinberg, Russell (June 27, 2014). "2014 NBA Draft Results: Knicks select Thanasis Antetokounmpo with 51st pick". SBNation.com. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  73. ^ Dayton’s Kostas Antetokounmpo ruled ineligible for 2016-17.
  74. ^ Deveney, Sean (February 27, 2014). "The Baseline: Greek Freaks everywhere! Prepare for the NBA's Antetokounmpo-ization". SportingNews.com. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 

External links