Athens, Jul 21 . .- Greece celebrated with joy the proclamation of the Milwaukee Bucks as NBA champions, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo who becomes the first Hellenic player to receive the NBA Finals MVP.
One of the first to speak was the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who through his Twitter account highlighted Antetokounmpo’s performance, which ended the match with 50 points and pointed out that all Greeks in the world celebrate their victory.
From the Greek sports world they also turned to social networks with congratulations to the 26-year-old star, both from the Hellenic Olympic Committee to teams such as Olympiacos in Piraeus or Paok in Thessaloniki.
Outside the Greek institutions, the celebration was felt with special emotion in the Sepolia neighborhood located north of Athens and where the Antetokounmpo spent their childhood and took their first shots at basket.
The sixth game of the NBA Finals brought together several residents of the area at dawn who met in a bar that saw the young Greek and his brothers grow up closely because it was there where they stopped to buy soft drinks, sandwiches and ice cream before going to train.
On Tuesday night the juice was replaced by champagne when they saw that their old neighbor was finally going to become NBA champion after an astonishing series in which he averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and 5 assists per game.
Born in Athens in 1994 into a family of Nigerian immigrants, Antetokounmpo spent almost two decades of his life without being a citizen of any country because he did not have papers, which forced him, along with his brothers, to work in street vending to contribute to the complicated family economy.
Giannis was not the only brother who ended up successfully dedicating himself to basketball: Thanasis is his teammate in the Bucks, Kostas has just left the Lakers for French Asvel and Alex is part of UCAM Murcia.
“I started playing basketball to help my family. I tried to help them get out of the problems and challenges that we faced when we were children,” said Giannis, who hopes to return to Athens this Saturday after being proclaimed champion. .
aba / ih / apa