Who Is Giannis Antetokounmpo? | Stats, Awards & Fun Facts
Say it with me: Yon-nis Ad-edo-koon-bo (You can just call him the Greek Freak). He may have a hard name to pronounce, but it’s easy to see why this Milwaukee Bucks forward is the talk of the NBA. Standing at 6’11” tall, this 22-year-old out of Athens, Greece has a Hall of Fame bust in his future.
If you’re a casual observer of the NBA and not someone who necessarily subscribes to League Pass and spends every night on the couch watch game after game (I’m talking about no one in particular, here), you may not have seen much out of Giannis in the past three years, as the Bucks don’t get many nationally televised games. If that’s the case, allow us to give you a bit more information about this kid.
Who Is The Greek Freak?
Name: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Position: Small Forward/Guard/Whatever He Wants
In 2013, the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Giannis with the 15th pick of the 1st round. The year prior, he spent a season playing second-tier professional ball in Greece for Filathlitikos, in the Greek A2 League. During his one with the team, he put up solid numbers for an 18-year-old, posting 9.5 PPG on 46.4% shooting, along with 5.0 RPG. Still very young and with a lot of raw talent, the Bucks saw his potential and took a chance on him.
In his rookie campaign with the Bucks, he appeared in 77 games, averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Still very young, Milwaukee took things slow with his development, not rushing him into the fray and forcing him to carry the team. After two more promising seasons, the Bucks saw that he was ready to take over and gave him a four-year, $100 million contract extension.
Milwaukee Bucks Tickets
Preseason: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago BullsUnited Center · Chicago, IL
Preseason: Utah Jazz at Milwaukee BucksFiserv Forum · Milwaukee, WI
Preseason: Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas MavericksAmerican Airlines Center · Dallas, TX
Preseason: Milwaukee Bucks at Washington WizardsCapital One Arena · Washington, DC
Preseason: Minnesota Timberwolves at Milwaukee BucksFiserv Forum · Milwaukee, WI
A very successful 2016-17 season (22.9 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.9 BPG) saw him finish atop the Bucks in all five major statistical categories and he also became the first-ever NBA player to finish in the regular season Top 20 in total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.
After that phenomenal year, the Greek Freak is off to an even better, MVP-caliber start this season, averaging over 33 points per game while shooting 63% from the field. If he keeps this up and helps the Bucks get a playoff spot – which shouldn’t be too tough in the weak Eastern Conference – he should be a lock for the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Award List
NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2014)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2017)
NBA All-Second Team (2017)
NBA Most Improved Player (2017)
NBA All-Star (2017)
Giannis Antetokounmpo Fun Facts
Giannis is of both Greek and Nigerian descent. His mother gave him a Nigerian name, which is Ougko
He has two older brothers (Francis, Thanasis) and two younger brothers (Kostas, Alexis).
Giannis and Thanasis were teammates on Filathlitikos
Kostas plays college ball for the University of Dayton
Giannis didn’t start playing basketball until 2007 (age 13) and was playing for the Filathlitikos youth squad by 2009 (age 15)
Naysayers are already assuming that Giannis can’t sustain his current stats for an entire season but, in a season preceded by Russell Westbrook becoming the first player to average a triple-double since Oscar Robertson in 1962, nothing is impossible. If you can, do yourself a favor and watch as much Milwaukee Bucks basketball as you can this year. You won’t want to miss a moment of The Greek Freak.