Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo kicking off FIBA World Cup training camp with Greek national team
— Eurohoops.net (@Eurohoopsnet) July 29, 2019
For a variety of reasons, several notable players from around the NBA landscape have decided to decline or forgo their invites to this summer’s FIBA World Cup, including James Harden, Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal, to name a few. Antetokounmpo, however, is ready to lead his country’s team back to the podium — a feat that Greece hasn’t accomplished since 2006 (runners-up to Spain).
Antetokounmpo announced that he would be playing for Greece during a presentation of his first signature shoe, the Zoom Freak 1, earlier this summer:
“I haven’t talked with the coach yet,” Antetokounmpo told Eurohoops in June. “I don’t know which position I will play in. But I don’t care. I just want to play. Whether I play as a guard or as a center, I don’t care. I’m a basketball player. I want to help the team in every way.”
The Greek Freak is fresh off a fantastic MVP season. The former 15th overall pick made 72 appearances with the Bucks during their 2018-19 regular-season campaign, racking up averages of 27.7 points on 57.8 percent shooting from the field, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals in 32.8 minutes per outing.
According to Eurohoops, Antetokounmpo and Greece will start the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Group F against Brazil, New Zealand and Montenegro. The top two teams from that group will advance to the second round (Group K), where they’ll face the top two sides from Group E (USA, Turkey, Japan and the Czech Republic).