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When Giannis Antetokounmpo Acted in a Movie

Giannis Antetokounmpo acting
Giannis Antetokounmpo made a brief appearance in a film when he was just 16. Credit: Keith Allison , CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikipedia

Before Giannis Antetokounmpo joined the NBA, he made his acting debut in an Australian movie called Dead Europe when he was only sixteen years old.

Acting role to earn some extra money

In the movie, young Antetokounmpo has only one line to deliver: “Quiet, please…She is dead gone.”

His mother, Veronica Antetokounmpo, is also in the scene with him. Antetokounmpo and his mother chose the role in Dead Europe to earn some extra money.

The Greek Freak and his family were living in Athens, Greece at the time, where he was born to Nigerian immigrants. He grew up in the Athens neighborhood of Sepolia.

Antetokounmpo’s parents, as immigrants, could not easily find work, so Giannis and his older brother, Thanasis, helped by hawking watches, handbags, and sunglasses in the streets. In 2007, Adetokunbo started playing basketball.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo in a school parade in Athens around the time he made his acting debut. Public Domain

In an interview with SB Nation’s Milwaukee Bucks blog Brew Hoop, Tony Krawitz, the director of Dead Europe revealed why Giannis and his mother Veronica ended up acting in his movie.

Krawitz revealed that both of them were hired for the film simply because their life experiences matched that of the characters.

He revealed that their team had worked with local casting agents and “were hoping to cast a family who could play as refugees, yet seem normal and open-hearted.”

Antetokounmpo: One of basketball’s most decorated players

Of course, since his appearance in the Australian film, Antetokounmpo has gone on to become one of basketball’s most decorated players.

He 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.

Along with his MVP award, he was also named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, becoming only the third player after Michael Jordan (1988) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994) to win both awards in the same season.

In 2021, Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first NBA championship since 1971 and was named Finals MVP. That same year, he was honored as one of the league’s all-time greatest players, as he was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

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