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Giannis Antetokounmpo: Compelling facts about Greek-Nigerian NBA Star powering Igbo literacy

The story of Ugo!

Giannis plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Milwaukee Bucks in the United States.

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player unveiled this in a documented YouTube video titled ‘UGO: A Homecoming Story’ Ft. The NBA star was accompanied by his mother, who emigrated from Nigeria to Greece 35 years ago.

Born in Athens, Greece, on December 6, 1994, his father was a staunch soccer fan, and his mother was a high jumper who emigrated from Nigeria to Greece 35 years ago.

The documentary, produced in collaboration with Giannis Foundation CAFF, WhatsApp and nonprofit organisation NABU, started a Lagos hub to promote literacy with Igbo children’s books.

Here are interesting facts about Giannis, the NBA power forward promoting Igbo literacy among children in Nigeria.

Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo is a Greek-Nigerian professional basketball player. He plays for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Born and raised in Athens to Nigerian parents, Antetokounmpo began playing basketball for the youth teams of Filathlitikos in Athens.

Giannis’s father, Charles, was a Nigerian football player, while his mother, Veronica, is a former high jumper.

Charles passed away in September 2017 at age 54.

He has two older brothers, Francis (Greek name Andreas) and Thanasis, as well as two younger brothers, Kostas and Alex.

During the past offseason, the 29-year-old Milwaukee Bucks forward fulfilled a lifelong achievement: a visit to Nigeria, the home of his mother, Veronica, and late father, Charles.

His parents moved from Lagos, Nigeria to Athens, Greece in 1991, for career opportunities. In Nigeria, “it was very hard to get a job,” Charles Antetokounmpo told NPR in 2013. He died of a heart attack at the age of 54, in 2017.

Giannis Sina Ugo Adetokunbo was born in Athens, Greece, the son of immigrants from Nigeria. In 2007, Adetokunbo started playing basketball.

Giannis is one of the most decorated players in NBA history, he won consecutive 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. he

Giannis Antetokounmpo has accomplished a lot on the basketball court, most notably winning an NBA championship and two NBA MVP awards in his 10-year career.

Immigrating to Greece, the parents left their firstborn son, Francis, with his grandparents.

Older brother Thanasis also plays for the Bucks – he was part of the Bucks’ NBA 2021 title-winning squad along with Giannis

He grew up in Athens in the neighbourhood of Sepolia, in a primarily Nigerian household.

Gianni’s younger brother Alex currently plays for the Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks’ NBA G League team.

Another brother, Kostas, who won an NBA championship in 2020 with the Lakers, is now playing basketball in Greece.

Giannis was also named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, becoming only the third player after Michael Jordan in 1988 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994 to win both awards in the same season.

Giannis is a Christian and was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church. He was baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church along with his brother Alex on 28 October 2012.

In February 2020, his girlfriend, Mariah Riddlesperger, gave birth to their first son, Liam. She gave birth to a second son, Maverick, in August 2021 and announced a third pregnancy in May 2023.

Giannis signed a mega $186 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks following his remarkable exploits with the Bucks.

He also joined Michael Jordan as the only basketball player since the ABA–NBA merger to put up at least eight 50-point and 10-rebound games in their career.