Milwaukee Bucks first round pick Giannis Antetokounmpo is only 19 years old, but he scored over 500 points in his rookie season in the NBA. His role increased as the Bucks faded out of contention, and Bucks fans relish Antetokounmpo as a big part of the foundation going forward.
Making the unusual move from Athens, Greece to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s been a busy first year in the United States for Antetokounmpo.
John Vittas got a chance to speak with him before Milwaukee’s game against the Washington Wizards on April 12.
John Vittas: What was your first year like overall? At first, what did you like about the United States, what was different and how have you gotten more comfortable?
Giannis Antetokounmpo: When I came to the United States, it was a new experience for me, being in such a big country with a new culture, a different culture from Greece. Thank God I have good teammates and good coaches to help me to adjust to the United States and the new culture.
JV: Had you been to the United States at all before the draft or the NBA experience? What was your first time here and what was that like?
GA: No, I had never been here before. The first time I came to the United States was on the draft night. The second time was when I came to live here.
JV: Has your family been able to come over often? What is it like trying to keep up with them?
GA: My family lives with me in Milwaukee. They live with me and they’re having fun and they’re enjoying it.
JV: Well it’s good that they’re around. What’s Milwaukee like compared to Athens. Obviously it’s very different. What surprised you about that part of the country as opposed to your home.
GA: Athens is a big city, it has a lot of things to do, and the weather is different. But Milwaukee is a nice city. It’s a good city for us because you don’t have a lot of things to do and you can just focus on basketball. And the weather is one thing that surprised me.
JV: How did you learn English?
GA: By watching movies from the time that I came here. My teammates talking all the time and my coaches, I’ve tried to pick up some things.
JV: I read that you like Kevin Durant. What is it about his game that you like?
GA: He is a very good player, he’s one of the best players in the league. I just like the way he plays. He’s not the strongest player in the league, but he knows how to score buckets and I like watching his clips.