On Wednesday Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix tweeted out about his story on Giannis Antetokounmpo that is appearing in the latest magazine issue (sorry, not online just yet). He then offered his favorite story from his reporting on Giannis:
Favorite--of many--anecdotes from @G_ante34 reporting. Early in the season, Giannis took a cab to Western Union to send money home...— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) March 5, 2014
…after sending all the money he could to Greece, he realized he didn't have enough left for cab fare. It was game day, so he started running— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) March 5, 2014
…he got about a mile before a couple stopped, asked if he was the Bucks rookie. He said yes. They picked him up and dropped him at the arena— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) March 5, 2014
It's a great little anecdote, but it sounded familiar. After doing some digging, we recalled that one of our commenters, Jane Gallop (aka JaneG), had posted that same story in early December. After successfully tracking her down, we had Jane tell her side of the awesome Giannis story. The excerpt below is a combination of the comment she posted and a few e-mails we exchanged yesterday.
On Saturday, Nov 23, it was cold in Milwaukee (below 20 degrees in the afternoon). I was shopping in the Brady Street area (the east side of Milwaukee, a few minutes away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center) with my boyfriend of 35 years. We saw a tall black guy running by and he looked familiar. I drove by him again four blocks away and realized it was Giannis. I stopped the car, rolled down the window and asked if he wanted a ride.
"Are you going to the Bradley Center?" he asked and I said yes. He was wearing only a windbreaker.
When he got in the car, I said "you need a winter jacket." He said his credit card didn't work & he'd sent all the money to his family in Greece. He thanked us over and over again for the ride. He was running from where he lives ("on Lake Drive," he said). I got an autograph (in Greek!), but didn't think to get a photo (I'm full of regret). Imagine a photo of all 6'10" of him in the backseat of my Honda Fit (incredibly small back seats)!
We dropped him off at the BMOHBC and he said "Thanks, you really saved me!" I was so excited to have him in my car, that I didn't even think to get a photo. I hope he now has a winter jacket and proper transportation.
What a sweet kid...
(My daughter's friend says I should have mentioned I have an 18 year old daughter, and should have taken him to Laacke & Joys to buy him a jacket.)
UPDATE: We haven't figured out how to play matchmaker with Giannis and Jane's daughter just yet, but we've already done plenty of brainstorming about a big screen adaptation of this purely hypothetical (for now???) romance. Our Mitchell Maurer served up the trailer narrative for the soon-to-be feature length film called...wait for it...My Tall Skinny Greek Wedding:
"HE was a teenage basketball prodigy from Greece…"
[Cut to Giannis in a Greek gym dunking on fools, looking excited]
"…who ended up moving…TO WISCONSIN."
[Cut to stereotypical Wisconsin beer-gut-having mustache-wearing Sarah Palin-sounding hoosier looking up at Giannis. "WHERE DID YA SAY YOU WERE FROM, THERE HEY?"]
"SHE was the girl-next-door in his new home…"
[Cut to attractive young lady in school, doing school things and looking wholesome]
"…whose mom gave HIM a ride when he needed it most."
Giannis: "Please, I need to get to the stadium!"
JaneG: "Buckle up!" [zooms away]