“People don’t call me the Nigerian Freak”: Giannis Antetokounmpo explains popular nickname – The Sportsrush

Arjun Julka
|Thu Sep 22 2022
Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo reflects on his nickname Greek Freak, giving a detailed insight into his Nigerian descent.
In light of his recently released short film on Amazon Prime, Naija Odyssey, Giannis Antetokounmpo narrates his story of living between two countries and cultures, produced in collaboration with messaging service WhatsApp. The two parties collaborated in February early this year for content, events, and community outreach.
Who am I? In Greece I was Nigerian, in Nigeria I was Greek. I was stuck in the middle, living between cultures. Watch my film, Naija Odyssey, in partnership with @WhatsApp. Now streaming on @PrimeVideo. #TheresNoOneLikeUs pic.twitter.com/mp1xJdsljs
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) September 21, 2022
In June 2022, Disney released a sports biopic drama on the Antetokoumpo brothers, narrating their inspiring journey to the NBA. The film garnered a lot of positive reviews. Thus it won’t be wrong to call Giannis a generational superstar, given his ability to capture the imagination of millions.
In mere 9-seasons, Giannis has established himself as one of the all-time power forwards. The two-time MVP is one of Greece’s best exports to the United States of America. Posterizing his opponents on a regular basis, the Bucks forward has been graced with many nicknames, the most popular being the Greek Freak.
Also read: Steve Kerr Made a Bold Claim, Compared Warriors’ Rookie to 2x MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo
While Giannis has no grievances against the phrase, he wants his fans to know about his Nigerian roots too. The former champion was born and raised in Athens to Nigerian parents.
Popularly called Greek Freak by fans and the NBA fraternity, Giannis possesses unreal athleticism, making him an unstoppable force in the paint with his long strides and ability to posterize opponents regularly. Though he has no complaints with the phrase, he wishes it had a Nigerian touch.
Born in Athens, Greece, Giannis was the son of Nigerian immigrants. However, until 2013, the Bucks superstar was stateless, having no citizenship, courtesy of the Jus Sanguinis law. Fortunately, just two months before his NBA draft, the six-time All-Star was issued Greek citizenship.
During a recent conversation with ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Giannis addressed his feelings on the nickname Greek Freak.
“It doesn’t bother me, but people don’t call me the Nigerian Freak, you know, they only call me the Greek Freak. You know this is a time for people to understand that I’m both, I’m not just Greek, I’m Nigerian.”

It was great to see Giannis educate everyone on his background and promote his Nigerian roots. Stateless at one time, the Bucks MVP today holds dual citizenship with Greece and Nigeria.
Also read: Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to follow ‘Kobe Bryant and produce a movie to vie for the Oscars! 
A 26-year-old from Mumbai. A huge Basketball fan who regularly consumes hours of basketball content, be it matches, debates, or analysis. Some of my other interests include CrossFit, watching documentaries, collecting sneakers, and trying out different types of cuisines.
Copyright: © THESPORTSRUSH. All rights reserved.
Copyright: © THESPORTSRUSH. All rights reserved.


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