Rap music legend Kanye West released his tenth studio album recently, in which he gives a big shout out to the Greek Freak of the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
West’s album titled ”Donda” was released on Friday; however, a short preview had become public days earlier.
Basketball fans who listened to the song called ”Junya” song soon realized that West was referencing the Milwaukee Bucks superstar.
The lyrics, which said “Let me be honest, / I’m one with the bucks boy, / Let me be Giannis,” depict West’s belief that the story of Antetokounmpo is a story of determination, prosperity and success.
Of course, West is not the first to include Antetokounmpo in the lyrics of a song. That list is already long, with names such as Public Enemy, Lil Wayne, DaBaby, Polo G, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, and Moneybagg Yo giving him the honors.
The track ”Junya” is named after the fashion designer from Japan Junya Watanabe.
The inspiration of Kanye West: Giannis Led Bucks to Win NBA Finals
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the kid from Sepolia, Greece who once sold watches and sunglasses on the streets of Athens to survive, became the king of basketball last week after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the first NBA title in half a century.
After leading the Bucks to the first NBA title in half a century, Antetokounmpo spoke to his Greek fans. The NBA star said that he expects 100,000 Greeks to come to the airport in Athens.
It is a remarkable achievement for Antetokounmpo, who started out life by hawking merchandise in the streets of Athens. From an impoverished background to stardom, Antetokounmpo is now living the American Dream — like millions of other Greeks who emigrated to the US over the centuries.
Before winning the NBA title, the 26-year-old won back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to win two MVPs before turning 26.
Antetokounmpo was born in the Athens neighborhood of Sepolia on December 6, 1994, the son of immigrants from Nigeria. Three years earlier, his parents had moved from Lagos, leaving behind their firstborn son, Francis, with his grandparents.
In 2007, Antetokounmpo started playing basketball and in 2011 joined his local team Filathlitikos. After a brief spell in Spain he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks. The rest is history.
An Antetokounmpo biopic by Disney, focusing on the teenage years of the NBA star, was filmed recently in Athens.
In 2019, he returned to Sepolia and received a hero’s welcome. Thousands of Greeks turned out to greet their homegrown hero.
After gaining Greek citizenship in 2013, his family Hellenized their surname from Adetokunbo to Antetokounmpo to more closely follow Greek spelling rules. His parents, as illegal immigrants, could not easily find work, so Giannis and his older brother, Thanasis, helped by hawking watches, handbags and sunglasses in the streets.