Thessaloniki street artist Elias Stylos, aka “Hayate,” completed a 5 x 5 meter (16 X 16 foot) mural of Greek basketball phenomenon Giannis Antetokounmpo on the wall of a private company in the eastern part of the city, “to inspire people to fulfill their dreams.”
Stylos, who has also depicted Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, said it took him four days to complete the work, of which two 12-hour sessions were for the face alone.
As he said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, “I want to honor the person I depict in my works, and to show that spark inside, which could motivate others to achieve their dream.”
Mural depicts “inspiration to achieve your goal”
The well-known street artist revealed that he searches for the story behind people “who began from zero.” In Antetokounmpo’s case, Stylos said, “he inspired me – besides of where he started from and where he got to – in how hard he fought for his dream, and in that he chose a small team and took them to the top. It reminds me of Maradona.”
Asked why he chose that particular pose, the artist said, “I wanted to find something that inspires you to achieve your goal, and I think this is registered in his look in this image.”
Antetokounmpo brothers proud to return to Greece
Earlier in August, Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo were pictured holding their NBA Finals trophies high at the Parthenon in Athens.
The Antetokounmpos climbed Athens’ most iconic landmark at the Acropolis to salute their Greek heritage with basketball’s most coveted trophy. The “Greek Freak” posted the images to Facebook, where he has been documenting his and his brother’s homecoming for his massive audience of fans.
The brothers, who both play for the Milwaukee Bucks, earned the trophy after helping their team win the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns in July.
The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 100-94 in game six of the NBA finals to win the 2021 NBA Championship on July 20, 2021 — the first NBA championship for the Bucks in decades.
The Greek Freak once again led the team to a great game to secure the first Championship of his career. Behind 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks from their superstar forward, the Bucks held off the Phoenix Suns to win the franchise’s first championship since 1971 on their home court.
Speaking during a press conference at the airport in Athens, the Antetokounmpo brothers expressed their pride at bringing the trophy back to Greece.
“We’re going to take it everywhere, to Sepolia, Zografou, to all the places we grew up in,” Giannis stated.
“We aren’t going to stop. Our parents didn’t stop working. They worked constantly to feed us and to raise us. We got this from them. We will never stop working, just like our parents,” he continued.