Giannis Antetokounmpo says he “would exchange” the NBA’s most valuable player award he just won for a Gold Medal in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Antetokounmpo, 24, vows to be part of the Greek national hoops team as long as his health permits it.
The Greek Freak has spent the summer working on refining his offensive skillset.
Per FIBA Basketball:
“I would exchange the MVP title for the gold medal in China,” he declared.
That’s why for Giannis, putting the Hellas kit on is an unparalleled experience, and that’s why winning the World Cup would be his brightest crowning glory yet.
“I always feel something special when playing for the national team,” he explained. “When you are starting the tournament and listening to the national anthem, the emotions can’t be described. After the first basket, the first plays, it is an amazing experience and every time I feel as proud as the first time. The feeling of winning with the national team is incredible, and I have said before that I will always be part of the team, as long as I am healthy like this summer.”
Another element that adds meaning to this year’s World Cup campaign is the fact that Giannis will be with two of his siblings in the national pool: older brother Thanasis and younger brother Kostas.
“We’re just trying to encourage each other and get better,” Giannis shared. “It is an incredible feeling that all three of us are together. We have worked very hard to get here and to achieve this. That’s why I know that our mother is proud, as is our father, who I’m sure is watching us from the heavens.”