To Nigerian sports activities followers, there’s nothing extra vital than bragging rights. Past supporting their nationwide groups, they’re significantly fast to assert any sports activities star with even the slightest trace of Nigerian Heritage.
It’s why Kamaru Usman (Nigerian-Nigerian) was trending in Nigerian social media circles final month after clinching the historic Combating Championship win.
Different Nigerian stars which have properly celebrated embrace world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua and different mainstream athletes. Nevertheless, this stage of “Naija” affinity has not been seen for NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of many favorites for the coveted Most Worthwhile Participant award.
Born to Nigerian immigrants in Greece, Giannis has been a key participant for the Milwaukee Bucks, at the moment holding one of the best file within the league. After becoming a member of the Bucks in 2013, Giannis has set a number of data as a part of a gentle streak, boosting the possibilities of the crew’s first NBA championship since 1971.
Whereas Giannis has turn out to be a family title in American sports activities, that’s not the case in Nigeria. The plain purpose is that most individuals can’t relate his title, Antetokounmpo due to the way in which it’s spelled. The truth is, most individuals are acquainted with quite a few luck numbers draw on Betway than his Nigerian title. Choose your draw at https://www.betway.com.ng/luckynumbers for an opportunity to win each day.
After Giannis go his citizenship in 2013, his surname “Adetokunbo” grew to become Romanized and altered to Antetokounmpo. That stripped him of the plain heritage hyperlink that most individuals relate. Nonetheless, the Greek Freak, as he’s dubbed, has embraced his Nigerian Heritage and he even obtained a Nigerian passport in 2015.
The NBA star visited Africa in 2015 for the primary NBA Africa sport in South Africa, and he’s anticipated to go to Nigeria quickly. Nevertheless, Giannis was already on his solution to turning into a full Greek worldwide participant even earlier than he grew to become an NBA star. As such, he can’t play for the Nigerian nationwide crew, however that’s to not say that Nigerians solely root for many who fly their flag.
Hakeem Olajuwon, one of many best basketball icons in Nigeria, received the gold medal with the US third dream crew in Atlanta on the 1996 Olympics. The Houston Rockets legend grew to become a two-time NBA champion and was a robust draw for native media and sports activities followers. Hakeem moved to the US to play school basketball and finally ended up among the many high NBA draft decide. His success spurred lots of mainstream curiosity in NBA in a football-crazed nation.
Since Hakeem, the expansion and success of different Nigerian-American gamers within the NBA have seen the game achieve lots of reputation domestically. These gamers embrace Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala, New Orleans Pelicans’ Emeka Okafor and Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers).
With Antetokuonmpo’s world inventory skyrocketing, the coveted MVP prize and fairytale championship run might see him extra in style than probably the most famed within the nation. His rise may even make him the middle for the NBA’s plans to develop its fan base in Africa.