It Is His Character That Impresses

A great expatriate visited Greece last week. One of the greatest the country has ever produced – Giannis Antetokounmpo.

He brought with him the NBA championship trophy. Can you imagine the effort it would take to get permission to carry it outside of the United States?

Giannis took it with him during his visit to the Acropolis.


Due to the heatwave and the more than 100 fires that burn property and threaten historic sites, what Giannis did may not have been given the attention that it deserved.

But it is extremely important. And it signifies another level of success for Hellenes Abroad and the entirety of Hellenism.

But beyond that, this kid – he is only 26 years old – our Giannis displays a maturity and a wisdom that impresses. He rises to a higher spiritual level that springs from his character. And that is the key – his character.

In addition, it expresses a mentality that I believe should be taught in all schools in the country.

Because, as I have noted many times, one of the great issues of the country is the need to change mindsets on key issues.

Here is an excerpt from the press conference he gave at the Athens airport, upon his arrival:

"We have not stopped as a family (working). And that is the meaning of life. Our parents did not stop. They worked every day to raise us and feed us. From there we got it all. We cannot stop because our parents did not stop. Everything that comes in, money, ads, trophies, is only through hard work. Without it they do not come. I do not know what the ceiling is. Every year we surpass what we did last year. And that is what we will continue to do. I do not know if we will win another championship. All I know is that I'll be training tomorrow. Tomorrow. This is our mentality and it will not change."


100 years have passed since the Smyrna Catastrophe, yet we still get a lump in our throats every time we think of it, a painful lump over our ancestors and fellow Hellenes who met horrible deaths at the hands of the Young Turks, a lump for those who drowned in the port of Smyrna trying to reach the cold indifferent foreign warships, for those who overnight went from being housewives to refugees.

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