It was an auspicious moment when Kostas Antetokounmpo’s Los Angeles Lakers took the win in the 2020 NBA championship as the excitement within the squad and for the fans around the world was one to behold.
While celebrations over the win are gradually slowing down, one player who would stay reminiscing over the victory would be Greek Nigerian-born Kostas Nduibuisi Antetokounmpo.
The Greek basketball player is one of the five Antetokounmpo brothers who plies his trade with the LA Lakers as a power forward and he is part of the squad to clinch the NBA Championship this season.
The Los Angeles Lakers have won the Championships a staggering 17 times with the first one coming in 1949. How old were you then?
There are so many interesting qualities about the lad, so before I spill the beans, here are 10 facts about Kostas Antetokounmpo you didn’t know.
1. Born November 20, 1997
In case you were unsure about his age, the Lakers power forward was born in 1997 and he turns 23 years old on November 20, 2020. He had great love for basketball from a tender age as he began playing the sport with the junior teams of the Filathlitikos, a Greek professional basketball club that is based in Zografou, Athens, Greece. He was quick to show his talents and ability to make runs with the ball.
2. Born To Nigerian Parents In Sepolia, Athens.
The 6ft 10 inches tall hoop-shooter is born to Immigrant-Nigeria parents Charles and Veronica, who in search of greener pastures migrated from Lagos, Nigeria to Athens in Greece. His parents hail from different ethnicities in Nigeria, with his father – Charles from the Yoruba tribe who joined marital ties with his Igbo mother – Veronica.
If you wondered where he got his name “Ndubuisi” from, there you have it.
3. Hails From a Sports Family:
One would wonder where the fourth of the Antetokounmpo brothers gets his athleticism from. Little did you know that he comes from a lineage of athletes. His father, Charles was a former soccer player, while his mum Veronica, a mother of 5 boys also known as “NBA Mother” was a former long Jumper. She was a track and field athlete who competed in long jump events.
Kostas is a younger brother of basketball players Giannis and Thanasis who play for the Milwaukee Bucks, and the older brother of 19-year-old Alex who plays basketball for the UCAM Murcia of the Spanish Liga ACB. His oldest brother, Francis, is also a professional soccer player.
Enjoying Greek Night🇬🇷 pic.twitter.com/0NwACRgfSt
— Veronica Antetokounmpo (@veronica_ante34) February 10, 2020
4. First of the Antetokounmpo Brothers To win a Championship
Kostas has two brothers – Giannis and Thannis who were drafted into the NBA before him. However, the 22-year old was the first out of the three brothers to win the championship.
The power forward reached the NBA Finals with the LeBron James-led LA Lakers in October 2020 to clinch the championship.
Either sheer luck or hard work, Kostas has shown he has the quality to deliver the goods.
5. Drafted into the NBA in 2018.
The Greek professional basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) has a two-way contract with the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League.
He played college basketball for the Dayton Flyers. He was drafted 60th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2018 NBA draft, and his draft rights were then traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
6. His name was spelt wrongly.
The sins of whoever responsible for the error may be forgiven because pronouncing the name “A. N. T. E. T. O. K. O. U. N. M. P. O.” might give you a run for your money.
Prior to him being drafted into the NBA, Kostas was granted a Nigerian passport in June 2013 so that he could gain a visa, and be allowed to legally enter the United States. However, in the mix of events, his name was wrongly spelt in the passport. The error was however rectified as he officially went on to become a full Greek citizen in 2016.
7. His Father is Dead
Survived by a wife and five sons, Charles Antetokounmpo passed away at the age of 54 in September 2017 due to health complications at his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He was a former Nigerian professional soccer player who migrated with his wife Veronica, from Lagos, Nigeria, to Athens, Greece in 1991.
8. NBA MVP Brother
If you are an avid NBA fan, the name Giannis would not be alien to you.
Kostas’ brother, Giannis Antetokounmpo who also plays for the Milwaukee Bucks has been named NBA Most Valuable Player for successive 2019 and 2020 seasons. One is safe to say they are a family of excellence.
9. College Basketball
At a tender age, the 6ft, 10 inches power forward had exhibited quality on the ball. He went on to play competitive basketball at Dayton College between 2017 and 2018 before being drafted in the NBA.
10. Close Bond
Talk about family ties, the Antetokounmpo brothers share great love and admiration for one another.
He has a close bond with his brothers and the often use the the hashtag “Antetokounbros” on social media