Giannis Antetokounmpo said on Friday that he would do everything to have his father back! Even going back in time to sell CD’s in the Athens’ suburb of Sepolia where he grew up.
“I would give it all up, without a second thought! Take it all back. I would go back to Sepolia selling CDs to have my father back,” said Giannis in an interview with a basketball show on Cosmote TV.
Once the interview turned to how he sees family and his father, he responded he was willing to sacrifice everything to have his dad, Liam-Charles back.
This was a powerful sign of the love he had for his dad given the difficult times Antetokounmpo and his brothers encountered in their teenage years in Athens.
Difficult times for Giannis Antetokounmpo in Athens
All they had was a paper from school with their name and a simple word next to the field of nationality: ”Allodapos,” which is Greek for ”foreigner.” Neither a passport nor an ID card.
This single word was enough to make their lives difficult. Giannis and his family could not even board a plane, since ID was required for their trip. But, of course, it is not just traveling that bothered them.
“When his basketball team in Greece was traveling by plane for a game he had to travel alone by bus,” said Giannis Tzikas, a cafe owner at Giannis neighborhood of Sepolia and a family friend of the Antetokounmpos, speaking recently to Greek Reporter. He explained how Giannis and the rest of the young boys of the family struggled with racism and rejection due to the color of their skin.
Yet, Giannis would go back to those times just to have his father back.
Charles Antetokounmpo is still serving as an inspiration to his family
Antetokounmpo senior, who immigrated to Greece form Nigeria before Giannis was born, died unexpectedly in September of 2017 of a heart attack while in Milwaukee. He was just 54 years old. He never got a chance to see his son Giannis Antetokounmpo become the Most Valuable Player in the NBA after a stellar season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
While he wasn’t here physically when Giannis was named the league’s MVP after the 2018-19 season, Charles Antetokounmpo is still serving as an inspiration to his family.
Less than one month after his father died, Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 44 points in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Antetokounmpo scored 17 points in the fourth quarter of that game to help give the Bucks the 113-110 win. After the game, he immediately thought of his father. “This is for daddy,” he said in an ESPN article. “We got a win tonight.”
Charles Antetokounmpo remains on his son’s mind. One year after the death, the Greek Freak posted a touching tribute to his father in an Instagram post. “It’s been a year daddy, so many things have happened since the day you left for a better place and I know you been watching down on us with a smile just like the one in the picture. I think about you every single day,” he wrote.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has shown that family comes before everything else. He named his first son after his father.
Throughout his career, Giannis Antetokounmpo has shown that family comes before everything else.
The first thing he did as soon as the series against the Phoenix Suns was over was to run to hug his mother, Veronica, and his partner, Maria, with his son, Liam-Charles.