Milwaukee wins first NBA championship in 50 years thanks to Greek-Nigerian player
The Milwaukee Bucks won their first NBA championship in 50 years on Tuesday thanks to their forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, as Greece and Nigeria cheer the victory.
Antetokounmpo scored 50 points to carry the Bucks to the 2021 NBA title, the news dominated social media on Wednesday.
"Incredible @Giannis_An34!," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted. "Greeks everywhere celebrate!"
Born in Greece to Nigerian parents, Antetokounmpo and his brothers sold trinkets on the street of Athens to survive.
They grew up fearing deportation and Antetokounmpo was not granted Greek citizenship until age 19.
His incredible rags-to-riches story has moved Greeks who give Antetokounmpo roaring cheers whenever he plays in Greece.
Fans had created a giant mural of Giannis in his Milwaukee Bucks jersey across the court where he and his brothers practiced in their old neighborhood of Sepolia.
The 26-year-old, whose phenomenal rise from a lanky boy in Athens to the NBA has earned him the nickname "Greek Freak", received the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award after averaging 35.2 points and 13.2 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns. read more
The feat produced a rare show of unity across Greece's fractious political scene.
He is expected to arrive in the Greek capital of Athens on Saturday.