Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the, if not the most popular basketball players in the entire world, as his name has become a global brand recognized anywhere. The 27-year Milwaukee Bucks superstar came for nothing and became an NBA champion, 2x MVP, Finals MVP, 6x All-Star, and DPOY, amongst all the other numerous accolades. But did you know Giannis’ last name wasn’t always Antetokounmpo?
New country, new name
The story of Giannis and his family getting to Greece from Nigeria is well-known and documented, as his parents took a big risk and managed to get a new and better life in Europe for their sons. It wasn’t easy, but it paid off in the long run.
What you maybe didn’t know about the inspiring story is that in the process of getting the Greek passport and citizenship, Giannis and his entire family had to change their surname. Giannis talked about this with his teammate Serge Ibaka on his show ‘How Hungry Are You?‘:
“When you take another country’s passport, you’re name has to be spelled with their alphabet. So in the D, they put NT, and in the B, they put MP. So it’s pronounced Antetokounmpo, the Greek way. But the Nigerian way, the way I knew my name growing up was Adetokounbo”, Giannis explained to Serge.
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Giannis finally gave context and explained the story behind this factoid that has been circling the Internet over the past few years. Although it’s not really much different, it still weird to think the Bucks superstar was actually named ‘Giannis Adetokounbo’
The push to enrich his legacy
Giannis has already achieved everything you can imagine on the biggest level of pro basketball, but at 27 years old there is still a lot of time to work on that resume. If he retired today, Giannis would be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer and one of the greats.
But if he wants his name to be mentioned amongst the cream of the crop when it’s all said and done, Antetokounmpo will have to add a couple of more rings and awards to his name. The way he is going right now, that is very likely to happen.