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Giannis Antetokounmpo spent many childhood nights in empty stomach

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Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks stalwart has been the reigning MVP for two years now, but the player’s early life was full of hardships and struggles, as the Greek forward recalls his younger years when he often did not have food on his plate.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was born in Athens on 6th December 1994 to Nigerian parents who had immigrated to Greece three years earlier from Lagos.

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A former EFAO Zografou B.C. player, Giannis was identified by the Bucks as a potential star back in the 2013 NBA draft, the same year when the player received Greek citizenship after remaining stateless for 18 years of his life.

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There was sometimes food, sometimes no food: Giannis Antetokounmpo looks back on his childhood hardship

Giannis Antetokounmpo
A young Giannis Antetokounmpo. (Image Courtesy:

The biggest struggle for young Giannis was food. In a recent episode of ‘The Woj Pod’, the player revisited his childhood days, which were often spent without him having eaten anything.

“I did not eat … looking back with the way we eat now, and what you have to do to take care of your body, we didn’t eat enough,” Giannis said in the podcast.

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“Sometimes I used to go to school, no breakfast. Not sometimes, every time. Come back, there was sometimes food, sometimes no food. So now you have to go to practice. I used to come back from practice at 11 and have my first meal then.”

“We definitely didn’t eat right,” the 25-year-old added.

Even after his Bucks draft pickup and the lavish diet that came by after his agent had him linked up to a nutritionist, the old habits did not leave Giannis that easily, as he further revealed that he was only eating a quarter of his food as he and his brother were familiar.

Giannis carried on, “He (the agent) thought I was eating the food. I was not eating the food.”

“I was eating 1/4 of the food. I was raised that if my brothers don’t eat, I don’t eat,” concluded Giannis.

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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