19-Year Old “Greek Freak” Leads by Example

March Issue


Glannis Antetokounmpo drives to the net

Carlin Beskrone, Sports Writer

In game four of the 2013 eastern conference series, Lebron James scored 30 points, leading the Miami Heat to victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, closing the Buck’s disappointing season. Milwaukee finished with a 38-44 record, ending in eighth place in the eastern conference, and letting the opposing team score an average of 100.4 points per game. It was, overall, a tragic season for Bucks fans everywhere. There was, however, a silver lining to their otherwise rough season: a fifteenth overall pick in the 2013 draft. According to Fox Sports, Bucks fans nationwide jumped out of their seats when they saw that the Bucks had drafted Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo, a 19 year old, six-foot-eleven small forward from Athens, Greece, as their first round draft pick.

Since his NBA debut in 2013, Giannis Antetokounmpo has done nothing but impress a world of hard-to-please critics. At age 22, he is already an esteemed member of the NBA.

“He is doing a good job…The bucks aren’t very good right now, and Giannis is the only reason that they aren’t completely awful…He is averaging 23 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and making over half of his field goals, he’s just out here balling,” Liam Harron ‘19 commented.

Although Giannis is powerful on the defensive end, he is known for his dunking ability. He has a seven foot three wing span, which enables him to leap and dunk from impressive distances.

According to Bucks Head Coach Jason Kidd, Antetokounmpo “makes the game easy for his teammates. He can pass the ball, make plays. Defensively, he can cover, help his teammates, block shots, get steals… So you can see, Giannis has the total package.”

Coach Kidd feels that Giannis gives a little bit of everything to the team, which is essential to any basketball team – to have one player who can do a little bit of everything.

With Giannis’ prowess on the basketball court, he has had no choice but to take a leadership role on a team. After the rough 2012-13 season, the Bucks found themselves in desperate need of a versatile player, a playmaker with a high basketball IQ, who could also work in the post. This all could be found in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Because he fit the role they needed so well, he was made a leader on the team instantly, which is a difficult task at such a young age.

“He has definitely taken the NBA by storm. He’s twenty two years old. He’s one of the few players in history to lead his team in all stats: points, rebounds, assists etc. He’s almost at the level where he can play any position, not quite, but almost,” Sullivan Connors ’19 said.

It is not only Giannis’ athleticism that makes him a leader. Despite the fact that this is only his fourth year in the league, he is already one of the oldest players on the team. Due to this, he needs to lead the team not only through his scoring and defensive ability, but through his teaching ability.

“‘Yes, definitely…The thing it means is that I’m getting more mature. This is my fourth year in the league. I think I’m one of the oldest guys on the team. I’ve just got to become a leader. That’s part of the game…I’ve got to be more vocal, more talkative. If my teammates hear my voice in practice and stuff, it’s going to help a lot in the games,” Giannis said during an interview for the Wisconsin State Journal.

While many people believe that Giannis is leading the team effectively, there are some who believe that he is not ready for the role that he has been forced to take.

“I think he’s a guy who’s been forced to do a lot of things, like play out of position, and that’s hard at just 22 years old,” Donald Morton ‘94, History teacher, added.

Giannis Antetokounmpo turned 22 years old on December 6, 2016 and he promises a bright future for the Bucks franchise. With his athletic ability, natural leadership, and a young team behind him, fans are excited to see what the Bucks future is going to look like.