NBA: MVP Antetokounmpo to trace Nigerian roots
Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to visit Nigeria soon and cannot wait to learn more about his roots.
Antetokounmpo, who produced a performance for the ages to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA title since 1971 after a 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday, was born and represents Greece.
“Obviously, a lot of people don’t know where I’m from,” Antetokounmpo told The Undefeated. “A lot of people think my mom or my dad is from Greece, but no. Both of my parents are black. Both of my parents are Nigerian.”
“I grew up in a Nigerian home,” Antetokounmpo said. “Obviously, I was born in Greece and went to school in Greece. But at the end of the day when I go home, there is no Greek culture. It’s straight-up Nigerian culture. It’s about discipline, it’s about respecting your elders, having morals.”
Antetokounmpo who said his original surname Adetokunbo was misspelt at the Greek Passport office, hasn’t traced his roots in person yet but hopes to visit Nigeria either this summer or next summer , revealing that he got his Nigerian passport in 2015.
“I want to see where my family comes from, where my mom was raised, see my family, see where my dad was raised. That is very important. I hope my kids can do the same thing for me,” Antetokounmpo said.
Meanwhile, Basketball legend and NBA Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon said Nigerians are proud of Giannis Antetokounmpo despite the Milwaukee Bucks All-Star representing Greece.
“I’m sure Nigerians are very proud of him, especially because of the way he has conducted himself and how he is dominating the league,” Olajuwon said. “He has accomplished a great deal in such a short period of time.”