Giannis Adetokunbo or Antetokounmpo, pronounced “Yan-nis” “a-det-0-koon-bo” or “anh-teh-toe-koon-po”, depending on the spelling, is an 18-year-old Nigerian player from Greece who stands 6-foot-9 and has a 7-foot-3 wingspan. The NBA may be the ticket for his family to have a better life.
Antetokounmpo was born and raised in Greece, speaks fluent Greece, and recently became a Greek citizen. In Greece, birth does not give you citizenship like it does in the United States. He grew up in poverty. Right-wing nationalists have discriminated against foreigners because of tough, economic times. The Filathlitikos basketball club convinced Antetokounmpo and his brother to pursue basketball while helping their mother find a job.
Antetokounmpo does not watch much NBA basketball, but he does look up to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant. Right now, Antetokounmpo is a cross between Josh Smith and Lamar Odom, a point forward who can block shots. He plays anywhere from point guard to power forward for Filathlitikos’s men’s and youth’s teams. With the men’s group he averaged 9.5 points, five rebounds, and shot 31% from behind the arc. His height and length enables Antetokounmpo to bother shooters and disrupt passing lanes. He has some point forward potential as he possesses good passing instincts, court vision and is an unselfish player.
Antetokounmpo’s weaknesses are his slim body, defensive consistency, perimeter shooting and lack of experience. He only weighs 205 pounds. He might be able to play shooting guard until he adds more strength to play the forward spots. Many times Antetokounmpo is not in a defensive stance. He stands too upright, which enables the offensive player to blow past him. While Antetokounmpo’s range does extend to the three-point line, he has no mid-range game and his shot has a low release point. The last thing is that he lacks quality basketball experience. He only picked up basketball the last few years and the highest competition he has ever encountered was division two.
Antetokounmpo may be the greatest risk with the highest potential. He may still be growing and in about three years, he can become a star just like Paul George. The Milwaukee Bucks will have a scary frontcourt combination of him, John Henson and Larry Sanders that will rival the Detroit Pistons‘ trio of Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.