NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and three of his brothers on Tuesday were named by Greece coach Dimitris Itoudis in his squad for this year’s Eurobasket and World Cup qualifiers.
Giannis, 27, and Thanasis play for the Milwaukee Bucks, Alex has just signed for the Bucks’ affiliate NBA G League side Wisconsin Herd, and Kostas last played for French club Asvel but is now a free agent.
Giannis has played in 49 games for Greece, scoring 573 points.
A two-time NBA MVP and probably the most celebrated Greek basketball player in history, Antetokounmpo all but announced the news himself on his Twitter account on July 20th.
He posted three emojis and a photo of himself in a cutoff T-shirt and blue shorts with the flag of Greece. He made similar posts on his other social media accounts, as well.
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) July 20, 2022
Also included by Itoudis was American-born Tyler Dorsey who has just signed for the Dallas Mavericks.
Greece will play Serbia on August 25th and Belgium three days later in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers.
The Eurobasket, being hosted by Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Georgia, gets underway on September 1st.
Greece has been drawn in Group C alongside Estonia, Ukraine, Britain, Italy, and Croatia.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s celebrated Greek heritage
Nicknamed the Greek Freak, the 2021 NBA champion is among the most celebrated players, both in the US and internationally. His family’s compelling life story was made into a Walt Disney Studios’ biographical sports-drama, called Rise.
The movie tracks the life of Antetokounmpo and his family from Nigeria to Greece and to superstardom. Antetokounmpo served as executive producer alongside Douglas S. Jones.
Antetokounmpo was born to Nigerian immigrants who had illegally immigrated to Athens in 1994. He grew up in the city but was not technically considered a Greek citizen until he turned eighteen.
He often speaks of his love for Greece, and in June, visited Greece where he posed for a photograph holding his two sons during their visit to the Acropolis.
“Our annual Akropolis visit,” he captioned his father-and-sons photo on Instagram. His oldest son is now two years old while the youngest will celebrate his first birthday in August.
Antetokounmpo and his family reportedly spent their Greek holiday in the Peloponnese, where he has two Costa Navarino residences.