10 Surprising Facts About Giannis Antetokounmpo
BuySideSports is reader supported. When you click on product links we may earn a commission.
Ten Surprising Facts About Giannis Antetokounmpo
As a kid growing up in a poor family in Greece, the Giannis Antetokounmpo has been through it all. His journey to the NBA was not easy, but he is now one of the top players in the league. Despite Giannis’ high profile and NBA MVP accolades, there are still many surprising Giannis Antetokounmpo facts about his life.
Giannis Is the First Greek to Win NBA MVP
In 2018, Giannis became the first Greek player to win NBA MVP in history. Giannis’ story is incredible and should inspire many more young kids in Greece. It also demonstrates that basketball continues to become a truly international game.
He Tasted His First Smoothie In 2014
Back when Giannis was new to American culture, he sent a tweet saying: “Man, I just had my first smoothie. Man, God bless America.” Seeing him discover American culture at an older age was amusing and part of Giannis’ appeal. This is why his fan love him – he is such a genuine person who’s always joyful and happy.
Giannis Did His Service in the Army
As unusual as it may sound, Giannis completed his mandatory military service in Greece. In fact, Greek law obligates adult men up to 45 years old to complete 9 months of military service. Giannis and his brother Thanasis were able to complete their service in less than 9 months due to the fact they live in the U.S. They completed it during the summer of 2016. Definitely one of the stranger Giannis Antetokounmpo facts we came across!
Only Player to Win MIP and MVP
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the first player to win both the Most Improved Player award and the Most Valuable Player award in the history of the league. He first won the MIP award in 2016 then won the MVP in 2018. His rise to stardom was so quick and demonstrates how hard he worked to improve his skills. In only two years he went from most improved to most valuable.
He Trademarked the “Greek Freak
In 2014, Giannis filed the trademark application for his nickname “Greek Freak” before he was a superstar in the league. This was a smart move as this name is now used on products he endorses including his signature line of Nike basketball shoes.
The Size of his Hands
As incredible as it may sound, Antetokounmpo’s hands are a foot long. Yes, 12 inches! He has one of the biggest pairs of hands in the NBA and that allows him to grab a basketball and easily palm it. There’s no question this helps him offensively and is one of the reasons he’s unstoppable driving to the hoop.
He Lived in a Hotel in his Rookie Season
During his rookie season, Giannis lived in a hotel by himself for five months. He was still sending money to his family in Greece and when his family joined him in the US, he was able to move out and get an apartment. He now lives with his girlfriend and mother in an apartment.
Sharing Shoes with his Brothers
When Giannis was still living in Greece, he used to share his shoes with his brother during basketball games. In fact, when Giannis came off the floor for a break, he took off his shoes and gave them to his brother to play in. This was a long time before he had his own signature shoe with Nike, the “Zoom Freak” collection.
Giannis Didn’t Own a Suit Until Hours Before the Draft
Hours before the draft, his agent asked him what color his suit was, and Giannis replied that he didn’t know he had to wear a suit. He even asked his agent where he could quickly buy one. So draft night became the first time that Giannis bought and wore his own suit.
Giannis Ran to the Arena Due to a Lack of Money
Yes, you heard that right. During his rookie season, after sending all the money he could to Greece to provide for his family, he didn’t have enough money to take a cab to the game. So instead he started running to the arena! Before he arrived, a couple spotted him running and decided to give him a ride to the game.
We hope you enjoyed our list of interesting Giannis Antetokounmpo facts and stories about his life. If you have any suggestions you can reach us at [email protected].
The Buy Side Sports Team