Fans of Greek Freak Giannis Antetokoumnpo will want to tune in to a new five-part television documentary on the Athens-born basketball phenom’s early life, airing now on the TNT network on Thursdays at 8 PM.
The series, from TNT’s “Bleacher Report” team is called “The Arena: Giannis and Identity.”
The documentary, a no-holds-barred look back at the difficult life of the 25-year-old basketball player who moved to the US to become MVP of the NBA in 2019, shows what it felt like to grow up in Greece as an illegal immigrant whose parents were from Nigeria.
The beloved NBA forward’s path to NBA stardom was never easy, despite his natural talent and penchant for hard work. He often felt like an outsider growing up in Athens, only receiving a Greek passport after he was invited to the 2013 NBA draft.
He ended up getting drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I was born here,” the basketball wizard says in the video, shot in Athens. “I’ve never been to Nigeria… I went to Greek school… Until I was 18, I never left the country, so Greece was all I knew.”
Antetokounmpo has an extremely strong family background, with his mother and three brothers sharing very close bonds, which became even tighter after the recent passing of his father after Giannis came to the US.
He has repeatedly cited his family as one of the motivating factors in his life. Now, having had a baby, Liam, with girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger, he states in the new documentary “This is not just for me. … I got six people behind me.”
Last season, the “Greek Freak” averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. So far this season, it appears that he may be on the way to cementing his position at the top of the NBA once again, racking up an average of 29.6 points.
You can see a preview of the documentary here.