By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Updating the summer status of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greece national team general manager Nikos Zisis expects to confirm the participation of the Greek Freak in the 2022 EuroBasket, he told Greek public television ERT.
“Honestly, I wanted Giannis to succeed in the NBA Playoffs. We were convinced from our trip to Milwaukee that he really wanted to play for the national team in the summer. His playing status wouldn’t be affected by extending the campaign further in the postseason. Even if he was crowned champion, he would gladly play for us,” noted Zisis, “Missing [Khris] Middleton in a best-of-seven series was a huge blow. Giannis was amazing, gave it his all, and that was apparent.”
The defending champions Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in seven games. They previously knocked out the Chicago Bulls in five games to reach the Quarterfinals of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
“We are waiting for him to rest up and afterward arrange another meeting to confirm him being available [for EuroBasket],” Zisis added. Alongside the director of national teams Dimos Dikoudis, he met with Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, in March.
Greece was drawn into Group C of the 2022 edition of EuroBasket. Traveling to Milan, Greece will collide with Croatia, Italy, Great Britain, Ukraine, and Estonia between 2 and 8 September. The top four teams moving to the knockout phase will then make the trip to Berlin as the German capital will host the remainder of the tournament.
Antetokounmpo, 27, and most NBA players are highly unlikely to play in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, also part of the summer schedule. Greece has already clinched a berth in the next round but will bump into Great Britain on 30 June.
At the senior level, Antetokounmpo has competed in multiple major FIBA tournaments from the 2014 World Cup to the 2015 EuroBasket, 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and the 2019 World Cup.
Photo Credit: FIBA.basketball