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Giannis Antetokounmpo’s true treasure: family, not just athleticism

There are two ways to view ‌the new documentary “Giannis: ⁤The Marvelous Journey,” which tells the story of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek-Nigerian basketball player who came from nothing to become one of the ‌greatest players in the NBA. One could see it as the ‌story of a young man ‌overcoming the unjust trials placed on nonwhite immigrants in the West.​ However, another (more accurate) way to see it is as the ​story of an ⁢incredibly lucky young man who was wise enough to make the most‍ of his opportunities and⁣ value his family.

Giannis’ story begins⁤ with his ⁣parents ‌looking to leave Nigeria‌ because of the lack of job ⁢prospects as well as the poisoned water supply. They eventually decide to live in Greece. ⁣While the parents are both working hard to put food on the table, the four brothers‌ including Giannis grow up in an apparently hostile environment that treats them like outsiders.

Of all the segments ⁢of⁤ the documentary, ⁢this first one prompts the most questions.⁤ How exactly did​ the Antetokounmpos ⁣make it to Greece? Were they documented and legal residents? What⁣ jobs did Giannis’ parents do? Did the boys attend school?‍ If they were so poor,‌ how did their father buy them a special edition PlayStation 2? ‌If Greeks ‌were⁢ so xenophobic and racist, how⁢ did the family not get deported or become victims of persecution?

Instead of answering these questions, much of the commentary focuses its attention on a ⁣particular nationalist anti-immigration⁢ party in Greece, the “Golden Dawn,” ​and how Greeks are generally intolerant people.

Fortunately, the‌ Antetokounmpo boys,‌ particularly Giannis, all grew up to be tall, athletic young men ideally suited for basketball. By the time they were teenagers, they were‍ all playing in competitive youth basketball leagues. ‌At 6’11″ ⁤with a 7’3” wingspan, Giannis quickly attracted⁢ the attention of European league and NBA scouts who came to Greece to watch him work​ out. And in⁢ Cinderella-like fashion, Giannis went from being a poor immigrant selling trinkets on the streets of Athens to being a professional basketball player⁤ for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Missing Details:
Again, more ​questions go unanswered. Who taught Giannis ⁤how to play basketball? ‍How was he⁣ discovered? How quickly did he transition into the NBA? It’s⁤ unclear, but Giannis​ and his ‍brothers mention how they would hang out at the internet cafe to watch highlight reels of famous basketball players.

After sending remittances to his family ‌for a few years, Giannis ‍manages to have his family come join ⁣him in Milwaukee. ⁢This requires ‍the intervention of high-level politicians who have to pull ‌some strings to help his parents and brothers have their visas⁣ approved. Even though this illustrates the dysfunctional U.S. immigration ‌system, for anyone familiar with the immigration process, it also indicates some serious issues with his family’s documentation and legal status in⁤ Greece.

The rest of ‌the film plays out like most other stories of ‍superstar athletes. Giannis trains and competes for a few ⁣years, gaining over 50 pounds in ⁢muscle ⁣and becoming the team’s star. By 2020, he led his team into playoffs and ​won back-to-back‍ NBA Most Valuable Player awards. All that was left was⁢ winning the championship. After ⁢mourning the sudden death⁢ of his father,⁤ and ‍seeking mental health treatment (affirming the fashionable trend of superstar athletes being victims), and⁣ even coming off a serious​ injury in less ‌than a week, he and his team finally won the championship in 2021.

Gratitude and Family:
In the film’s conclusion, Giannis is shown⁤ returning to Greece, setting up a foundation ⁢to help young immigrants. Unlike his wife and some of the commentators, Giannis has nothing but gratitude for his home country and Milwaukee. As well ⁢he should. He ‍was granted citizenship and paid millions for playing basketball. Had ‍his family stayed in ​Nigeria, he would likely be unemployed and sick ​from contaminated water.

That said, what really makes ⁤Giannis admirable is his devotion to his family. Despite the poverty and ⁣discrimination they faced, they stuck together ‌and supported one another. Of the many lucky breaks‍ Giannis had in his life, the⁣ film makes clear⁢ his family was the ⁢greatest of them.

Overall, “Giannis: The Marvelous Journey” is uplifting and well-intended. ⁤The only ⁣two weaknesses are its awkward pro-immigration agenda ⁤and excessive runtime (almost two ⁤hours). In a world of narcissistic NBA players (see: LeBron James) ‍Giannis Antetokounmpo is refreshingly likable, grounded, and‍ humble. The NBA and other sports venues would do well to celebrate athletes like him and promote the culture of family ⁣he comes from.

What is the ​story behind Giannis Antetokounmpo?

Family is everything to ⁢Antetokounmpo who was born and​ raised⁤ in Athens to Nigerian immigrant parents, but when⁤ the Milwaukee Bucks‍ signed him more than 10 years ago, the‌ power forward had to leave his father, mother, and three brothers behind in order to pursue his pro basketball dreams. Gh the documentary does not provide all the details, it highlights⁢ the remarkable journey of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek-Nigerian basketball player who overcame ⁣various⁣ challenges to become one​ of the greatest players in the NBA.‍ The documentary can be viewed in two ways: as ‌the story⁢ of a young man overcoming the trials faced by nonwhite immigrants in the West or as⁤ the ⁤story of a fortunate individual who seized opportunities and valued his family.

Giannis’ story begins with ‍his parents’ decision to leave Nigeria due to limited job prospects and a contaminated water supply. They chose to ‍settle​ in Greece, where ⁤they faced discrimination ‍and hostility as outsiders. However, the documentary ⁣does not provide specific details about ​how the‍ Antetokounmpo family made it to Greece, their legal ‌status, or their occupations. It also does not mention whether the boys⁣ attended school ⁣or ⁢how their father managed to buy them a ⁢special edition‍ PlayStation 2 despite their financial challenges. These ⁤unanswered questions leave room for speculation.

Instead of⁢ addressing these specific ⁣details, the documentary focuses on‌ the nationalist anti-immigration party in ⁣Greece, the “Golden Dawn,” and generalizing Greeks as intolerant people.​ While this sheds light on the broader context of xenophobia⁢ and racism, it does not directly​ answer the questions about the Antetokounmpo⁣ family’s experiences.

Fortunately, the Antetokounmpo brothers, especially Giannis,⁤ grew up to be tall ​and athletic young men well-suited for basketball. They played ​in competitive youth basketball leagues, ⁢and Giannis’ exceptional height and skills caught the attention of ⁢European league and NBA scouts. Through ⁢their interest, he transitioned from selling trinkets on the streets ‍of Athens to becoming a professional basketball player ⁤for the‍ Milwaukee Bucks. ⁤However, the documentary does not ⁢provide details about who taught Giannis how to play basketball, how he was ⁤discovered, or the ⁤duration of his transition into the NBA.

After sending remittances to his family for a few years, ⁢Giannis managed to have⁤ them join him in‍ Milwaukee. This process⁤ required the intervention of high-level politicians to assist with visa approvals. However, the specifics ⁣of this ⁢intervention⁣ are not mentioned in‍ the documentary.

In conclusion,‍ the documentary ‍”Giannis: The Marvelous Journey” ⁢tells ⁢the inspiring story​ of‌ Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek-Nigerian basketball player who rose from humble ‌beginnings ⁤to become a prominent figure‌ in the NBA. While the documentary ‌depicts certain ​aspects of his journey, it leaves ​unanswered questions regarding the family’s immigration process, the‍ source of Giannis’ basketball skills, and the details of his transition into the NBA. Nevertheless, the documentary ⁣highlights the perseverance, talent, and family values that ⁤contributed to Giannis’ success.



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