Apart from Saint Nicholas’ Day, December 6 happens to be the birthday of one of Greece’s most famous modern sports legends, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the ”Greek Freak” of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks basketball team.
Born on a day no doubt much like this twenty-five years ago, on Tuesday, December 6, 1994 in Athens, Greece, Giannis was the son of immigrants from Nigeria.
Moving from Lagos to Greece in 1991, his family was struggling to live in a country which was prosperous and wealthy at the time, but not very friendly toward migrants.
Despite the fact that Giannis was born in Greece, he did not receive official Greek nationality, as would have happened in the United States or other countries which grant citizenship upon birth.
Greece was following the ”jus sanguinis” legal principle at the time, meaning that a child had to have a Greek parent to become Greek, regardless of having been born in the country.
The years that followed were difficult, and the young boy was effectively stateless since he benefitted from neither Nigerian nor Greek nationality.
However, Giannis’ star was there, destined to guide and lead him on a career path that he could only have dreamt of.
Happy 25th Birthday @Giannis_An34!!
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 6, 2019
Twenty-five years later, Giannis is currently the NBA’s Most Valuable Player and is acknowledged to be one of the best basketball players, if not the best, of his entire generation.
His mother Veronica, full of pride for her beloved son, posted the following comment on Facebook on the occasion of his 25th birthday:
”A STAR IS BORN ⭐️! A Special Day! Please join me to celebrate my Wonderful son, for today is the day that the Lord has given! I’m very glad to celebrate and rejoice with you! wishing you Long life with good health, your deepest heart desires (DREAMS) shall come true 🙏 You’re Precious! Heartbeat…Legend! Words are not enough to tell you how much I love and appreciate you! You’re called blessed! You will be blessed when you go out and blessed when you come in! Four corners of the world + East, West, North and South will favor you! The Lord will continue to watch over you and be your Strength in Jesus Name Amen! Enjoy your day with Love and Peace ✌️ HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIANNIS 🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂⭐️💖💖💖🏀🏀🏀”
His team has already posted an offer for their basketball fans who are in love with the Greek Freak to celebrate this special occasion.
Celebrate the MVP's birthday at @FiservForum!!
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 5, 2019
From all of us, Happy Birthday, Gianni!