“We Have Always Been Greeks,” Antetokounmpo Says in Visit to Presidential Mansion

September 17, 2021

ATHENS — In a highly symbolic meeting, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Friday received NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, his mother Veronica and his younger brother Alex in the gardens of the presidential mansion, a day after the ceremony granting them honorary Greek citizenship that was held at the Maximos Mansion, in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

After thanking the president for the honour, Antetokounmpo congratulated her on achieving the highest office of the Greek state, saying it was a historic decision that carves a new course. He noted that his family have always felt like Greeks, as they attended Greek school and knew the Greek language and culture, and that the ceremony on Thursday had simply put an official seal on this.

"We have always been Greeks and always considered Greece our home," he said, adding that he brings his sons and his girlfriend to Greece on holiday, while the US is where he has his job and professional obligations.

President Sakellaropoulou said he was an example for young children and that to have one's picture up in the rooms of primary school children was both a burden and something that one earned not only by being an athlete but through one's ethics and personal qualities.

"This is something that someone gets from their home and naturally cultivates as they grow. The love of country and family, your contribution to those in need, these are very important things and do you great honour. I hope you continue, wherever you are, because your life is now shaped in America, but you also often come to Greece," Sakellaropoulou said.

She congratulated Antetokounmpo's mother for all she has achieved and said she was rightly proud of her children, while saying that she was very pleased to have signed the decree granting them citizenship, adding: "You were Greeks and you have proved this as a family."

The president also asked about the career of Antetokounmpo's younger brother, Alex, who is also a professional basketball player and who played for a year in Spain, while the family informed her that four of the five Antetokounmpo brothers were involved in basketball and the fifth, Francis, was interested in music.


ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s government said billions of euros in subsidies to help Greek households wracked by soaring electric bills and energy costs doesn’t mean he will call early elections in hopes of gaining more support.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


TNΗ’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

NEW YORK – The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.