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Giannis Antetokounmpo Recalls Selling Goods on the Street, Will 'Stay Humble'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2018

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

As Milwaukee Bucks playmaker Giannis Antetokounmpo prepared for Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, he stressed how he is always going to remain humble given his beginnings.

"You can just never forget where you came from," Antetokounmpo said, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. "I know that they're going to go out there and they're going to sell it, but I used to be that little kid or that little guy that was selling stuff in the street."

Although Antetokounmpo is now among the most recognizable players in the game, he said he won't change.

"So, just growing up and going through life and how tough life was for me and my family, I'm always going to stay humble. Even now, it doesn't really matter if I've got a $100 million contract or a $100 million Nike contract, it's the way I grew up, it's the way I go through life. I'm not changing."

Haynes noted Antetokounmpo would sell products such as watches, DVDs and CDs with his brother as children in Greece to help his family survive and make money after his parents came there as immigrants from Nigeria.

As for Antetokounmpo's basketball future, he said he has no plans to leave Milwaukee (he is an unrestricted free agent in 2021).

"As long as Milwaukee does the right moves and we're a championship [contending] team, I'm not going nowhere," Antetokounmpo said, per Haynes. "This is my home. All I know is loyalty and this is an organization that [has preached that] since day one and hopefully I can help them bring joy to the fans and bring joy to the city in the future with a championship."

The 32-25 Bucks are sitting in the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and enter the All-Star break as winners of nine of their last 12.

Antetokounmpo leads the team in points (27.8), rebounds (10.4) and assists (4.8) per game while shooting a career-best 54 percent from the field as a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses because of his ability to shoot, put the ball on the floor and create openings for teammates at 6'11".

He is just 23 years old and has a bright future as he continues to develop in the NBA, but he made it clear he won't forget where he came from as he does.

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