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Giannis Antetokounmpo: Greek NBA Finals MVP celebrated by Athens suburb

By Euronews with businesses

Giannis Antetokounmpo smiles whereas holding the NBA Championship trophy and Most Beneficial Participant trophy.   –   Copyright  AP Photograph/Paul Sancya

Greek politicians, sports activities groups, and residents have celebrated the NBA Finals victory of nationwide basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday to win their first NBA title in fifty years.

The “Greek Freak” completed with 50 factors, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocked photographs within the six-game sequence and have become the primary participant from his nation to obtain the NBA Finals “Most Beneficial Participant” (MVP) award.

The victory was celebrated jubilantly in Milwaukee, however equally residents in Athens who first watched Antetokounmpo show his expertise on a basketball court docket.

One of many first to talk out was Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on Twitter, describing the 26-year-old Bucks’ ahead performances as “unbelievable”.

Messages of congratulations had been additionally posted on social media by a variety of different senior Greek politicians, together with Overseas Minister Nikos Dendias.

The Greek sporting world additionally voiced their delight, from the Hellenic Olympic Committee to basketball groups reminiscent of Olympiacos Piraeus and PAOK Thessaloniki.

Within the northern Athens neighbourhood of Sepolia — the place Antetokounmpo and his brothers had grown up — a variety of residents had gathered in native bars to look at Recreation 6 within the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Born in Athens in 1994 to a household of Nigerian immigrants, Antetokounmpo spent practically 20 years of his life with out Greek citizenship as a result of he didn’t have papers.

The basketball star and his brothers had been pressured to work as avenue distributors to assist assist the household’s struggling economic system.

“From a small flat in Sepolia to the highest of the world,” exclaimed Greece’s left-wing opposition chief Alexis Tsipras on Fb.

“Kids of two dad and mom who got here to Greece for a greater life and raised their household with rules, values and beliefs. It’s an honour that you’re Greeks.”

Thanasis Antetokounmpo now additionally performs with the Milwaukee Bucks however didn’t play on account of quarantine. In the meantime, Giannis’ different brother Kostas has simply left the Los Angeles Lakers for the French staff Asvel, and Alex Antetokounmpo is a part of the Catholic College of Murcia in Spain.

“I began taking part in basketball to assist my household,” stated Giannis, who hopes to return to Athens this Saturday after successful the title.

“I attempted to assist them out of the issues and challenges we confronted after we had been youngsters.”

Antetokounmpo joked to Greek reporters on Wednesday that if 100,000 Greek residents aren’t on the airport to welcome him, he won’t be getting on the airplane.

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