Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks visited the White House, as they were greeted by U.S. President Joe Biden months after winning the NBA championship.
Antetokounmpo took home the Finals MVP Award after averaging 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists in six games to take down the Phoenix Suns.
Antetokounmpo ‘Grateful’ to Visit White House
Antetokounmpo didn’t grow up in the United States, rather, he grew up in Greece, hence the nickname “The Greek Freak.”
Antetokounmpo grew up poor, as he was helping provide for his family by selling trinkets on the streets of Athens at some point during his upbringing.
Despite the success Antetokonmpo has had throughout his basketball career, he hasn’t forgotten where he comes from, he shared during a speech at the White House.
“On behalf of my teammates, the coach staff, the Bucks organization, we are very grateful for this opportunity,” Antetokounmpo said. “You know, a kid from Sepolia, Athens, Greece, grew up from two Nigerian parents. They were struggling every day to provide for us — illegal in a — a country. They didn’t go home at the time.
“It’s an unbelievable opportunity to be able to be in the White House meeting the president of the United States. I could not be as honored and happy that something like this ever — ever comes — something like this in my life.”
What makes Antetokounmpo so likable is his humility. He knew his spot on an NBA roster was far from guaranteed the day the Bucks drafted him in 2013, but the way he’s responded to that is by working extra hard on his physique and skillset to transform him into a top-five player in the league.
Biden Gives Antetokounmpo His Flowers
What makes America beautiful is that it provides opportunities for everybody around the world to accomplish their dreams. Biden made sure to echo those sentiments while praising the two-time MVP.
“At just 26 years old, you’re just getting started,” Biden said. “What makes it even more special is you won the title with your brother, who is here today. And you join another brother already with a ring. What a hell of a family. Sons living the dream of an immigrant family from Nigeria and then Greece in search of new opportunity. In struggles, they always dreamed. Brothers who once had to share the same basketball shoes, all five of them, before they got to the NBA.”
Antetokounmpo admitted that he was emotional to hear the president speak about him, especially when you consider everything he’s been through.
“I got a little emotional,” Antetokounmpo said. “I know how much [my family] sacrificed because this doesn’t go back eight years. This goes way back since I was a kid.”
As Biden said, Antetokounmpo is still very young and already has an extremely stacked résumé. At this rate, Antetokounmpo is on pace to being one of the greatest human beings, both on and off the court, to ever touch a basketball.
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