The Greek Freak has taken the NBA by storm in recent years and has established himself as one of the greatest players that have ever set foot on the court.
However, every Giannis fan knows that his life was full of hardships until he entered the league but there are some aspects of his life that are not in the limelight.
Here are a few things you did not know about Giannis Antetokounmpo!
Spiros Velliniates, a basketball coach of a local team in Athens found Giannis on a playground he frequently visited that was filled with immigrant kids. He was looking for players to take upon his squad and that's when he saw Giannis and his brothers. Giannis refused at first but Spiros made an offer he could not refuse. Giannis initially hated the sport but all that is history now.
During his rookie season, Giannis family was still stuck in Greece because of their Visa being rejected twice and if they got rejected the third time, he told his agent that he would leave the NBA because he did not want to live without them.
Giannis, along with his brother Thanasis was obliged to fulfill a 3 months duty in the military in 2016. This is standard for Greek citizens living abroad. But because they are professional athletes, their time was cut out for them to fulfill their real dreams.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Even though they are not related, Giannis is from the same Nigerian tribe as Hakeem Olajuwon, who is one of the best NBA centers of all time. Both come from the Yoruba tribe and Giannis' surname in native language means, the crown has returned from overseas.
Almost everyone knows Giannis was stateless until he turned 18 but did you know that money was so tight that he and his brothers had to start working from a very young age, which included selling DVDs and sunglasses on the streets.
Giannis' basketball skills were quite unrefined back when he had just joined the league, along with his language and affinity for American culture. He wasn't in the USA to enjoy but provide for his family, his only focus was basketball. So, he would sleep in the gym until his next practice.