July 21, 2024


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Giannis leads Greek basketball team to first Olympics since 2008

Giannis leads Greek basketball team to first Olympics since 2008

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Giannis Antetokounmpo achieved another major milestone in his career on Sunday, leading his country to its first men’s basketball Olympics since 2008.

After a close first half, Greece defeated Croatia 80-69 in the final of the FIBA ​​Qualifying Tournament in Piraeus, Greece, securing the Greeks a place at the Paris Games. Greece qualified for the Olympics in 1952, 1996, 2004 and 2008. The 2004 team was an automatic entrant as the host country. Greece has never won a medal in the sport.

The Milwaukee Bucks star scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 29 minutes of action in a rematch of Greece’s win over Croatia in a 2016 qualifying match to keep Greece out of the Olympics in Brazil.

Dominican High School graduate Kostas Antetokounmpo is also on the Greek team but did not play against Croatia. Former Milwaukee Bucks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who tore his left Achilles tendon in June, is unable to play but is also on the team.

Giannis is heading to: Antetokounmpo has a great time with his two young sons after leading Greece to the Olympics

The opening ceremony of the Games will take place on July 26 on the River Seine.

Since 1928, Greece has been the first nation in the march of nations to open the Games, a tribute to its rich history with the competition. If Antetokounmpo is chosen to carry the Greek flag, he will become the first black athlete to represent the nation in this way.

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What readers think: Should Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo play for Greece this summer?

Which group is Greece in?

Greece is in Group A at the Olympics, which includes Australia, Canada and Spain. Australia and Canada are strong contenders for medals as the fifth and seventh ranked teams in the world.

What is the Olympic Games schedule in Greece?

Greece play Canada on July 27 in their first group match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Villeneuve d’Ascq, France. They then play Spain on July 30 and Australia on August 2.

If Greece qualifies, the quarter-finals will begin on August 6 at the Bercy Arena in Paris. The semi-finals will be held on August 8, and the medal matches on August 10.

When is the Bucks training camp?

Dates for the Milwaukee Bucks’ training camp have not been announced, but during Olympic years, NBA camps are typically postponed to allow participants more time to recover. The league’s first preseason games will be held Oct. 4-6 in Abu Dhabi.

Antetokounmpo has represented Greece in international competitions since 2014 and has played well for the Milwaukee Bucks since then. That was followed by Greece’s 2016 playoffs win over the NBA Most Valuable Player. That was followed by the 2019 World Cup with his second NBA Most Valuable Player season and the 2022 EuroBasket with the best scoring season of his career.