Basketball players, and indeed competitors across all athletic fields, carry a badge of honor for their birthplaces. It could be their home state, the neighborhood they grew up in, or the area code they associate with; there’s always a noticeable desire to represent one’s beginnings.
The same holds true for the fan base. There’s an added thrill in supporting a player who shares your state lines or even the same local stomping grounds, especially when that athlete plays for the team you root for above all others.
Bearing this in mind, we scoured through NBA.com to extract the home states or, in some instances, the home countries of every player listed on the active rosters of each team.
Our findings included 2 players originating from the state of Greece.
Greek NBA Players
Below is a list of both players on NBA rosters at the commencement of the 2023 season, detailing their hometowns and the respective teams they represent.
Here is a little more info on the two players representing Greece in the NBA.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, born December 6, 1994, in Athens, Greece, is a towering figure in the NBA, both literally and metaphorically. Standing at an impressive 6’11”, Giannis, affectionately known as “The Greek Freak,” has captivated basketball fans worldwide with his extraordinary athleticism and versatility.
Giannis’ journey from the streets of Athens to the bright lights of the NBA is a story of relentless hard work and determination. He began his professional career in Greece before being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013. Since then, Giannis has evolved into one of the most dominant players in the league.
Known for his all-around skills, he excels in scoring, rebounding, and defense, earning him multiple NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards. His rise to fame is not just a testament to his talent but also to the gritty, never-give-up spirit instilled in him during his upbringing in Greece.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo, born July 18, 1992, in Athens, Greece, is not just Giannis’ older brother but also an integral part of the NBA fabric. Standing 6’6″, Thanasis may not have the same global acclaim as his younger brother, but his journey and impact in basketball are noteworthy.
Thanasis’ career path mirrors the underdog story, starting in the Greek basketball leagues before making his way to the NBA. Drafted by the New York Knicks in 2014, he spent time honing his skills in the NBA Development League. He later joined Giannis at the Milwaukee Bucks, where he has carved out a role as a valuable bench player.
Known for his high energy and defensive prowess, Thanasis brings intensity and enthusiasm to every game. His presence in the NBA, alongside Giannis, highlights the Antetokounmpo family’s remarkable journey from Athens to basketball stardom and underscores the rich basketball talent emerging from Greece.
From the sun-bathed courts of Athens to the bustling energy of NBA arenas, Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo bring with them a unique essence of Greece. Their journey is a vivid portrayal of the Hellenic spirit of perseverance and excellence. In every soaring dunk, they embody not just their athletic prowess but also the rich cultural heritage of Greece.
Whether they are rookies making their debut or seasoned veterans known by every fan, the pride of Greece continues to shine on the national stage. To the fans back home, these players are more than just athletes; they are local heroes, each with a story that resonates with the dreams of young ballers across the country.
As the season unfolds, we will watch their stories develop further, cheering for not only the skills they display but also the communities they represent. The spirit of Greece basketball is alive and well in the NBA, and perhaps, in the cheers of the crowd, the players can hear a little bit of home calling back to them.