Greek basketball player of Nigerian descent Giannis Antetokounmpo (Adetokunbo) gave a powerful speech as he helped Milwaukee Bucks win their first title since 1971.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 (4-2) to become the fifth team in the history of the NBA finals to overcome a two-game deficit.
The 6ft Power Foward also emerged as the Finals MVP as he became the 6th player to score 40+ points three times in a single NBA finals series.
Speaking after the victory, Gannis Antetokounmpo said he wants his victory will inspire young Africans and Europeans to believe in their dreams.
” Obviously I represent my country, both countries, Nigeria and Greece,” Antetokounmpo said. “A lot of kids from there. But not just from Nigeria — all Africa and all Europe.
“I know I’m a role model. But this should make every person, every kid, anybody around the world believe in their dreams. No matter whatever you feel when you’re down when you don’t think it’s going to happen for you or you might not make it in your career — might be basketball, might be anything — just believe in what you’re doing and keep working.
“Don’t let nobody tell you what you can be and what you cannot do … Just believe, man. I hope I give people around the world, from Africa, from Europe, hope that it can be done. It can be done.
“Eight years ago, eight and a half years ago, when I came to the league, I didn’t know where my next meal will come from. My mom was selling stuff in the street. Now I’m here sitting at the top of the top. I’m extremely blessed. I’m extremely blessed. If I never have a chance to sit at this table ever again, I’m fine with it. I’m fine with it. I hope this can give everybody around the world hope. I want them to believe in their dreams.”
Giannis and his brothers, Thannasis and Kostas made history as they emerged as the first sibling trio to win a ring (NBA title).
Jordan Nwora is part of caocah Mike Brown’s 12-man team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Nigeria is grouped alongside Australia, Italy and Germany.