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A special athlete: Giannis Antetokounmpo donates $1 million to help the mentally ill in Milwaukee

A Greek immigrant gives back to his adopted communi

… where are the American millionaire athletes?

Most professional athletes are self-centered and divorced from the common people. They make their millions and tens of millions — and live the life of Riley.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is not one of them. An immigrant from Greece, he has already won two MVP awards in the NBA. However, he has not forgotten where he came from, and he wants to help those who are struggling like he did.

For that reason, he is — unlike so many other pampered American athletes — giving back to the community. His gift of a million dollars to Milwaukee is his first step in doing that.

Here is that story.

The superstar who cares

Giannis was born in Greece to parents who were raised in the African country of Nigeria. He and his family have struggled over the years, but he is one of the most gifted players to enter the U.S. in recent years.

Still, he struggled with many aspects of the pressure of being a great athlete, and since earning big bucks in the NBA, he is starting to repay that debt,

Giannis Antetokoumpo is one of the most loved athletes in all of the NBA. However, in the city of Milwaukee, he is on another level. The love and admiration that the city of Milwaukee and Bucks fans have for Giannis is unmatched. He has consistently impacted the community on and off the court. That impact continues today as Giannis Antetokounmpo has made yet another astonishing donation.

According to a public relations rep for the Charles Antetokounmpo Family Foundation, #Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will be committing $1 million to mental health services in Milwaukee.

Giannis also has partnerships with the NBPA, Milwaukee Diaper Mission and Obama Foundation supporting under resourced schools in Milwaukee.

McQuade Arnold, “Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Unbelievable Donation To Milwaukee Residents,” Wisconsin Sports Heroics, February 28, 2023

Why did he do this?

Giannis just wanted to help others,

"We decided as a family to come together and build this foundation to basically just do what people did for us ... Put our hand out there and give them an opportunity to be great and whatever they decide to do. Kind of help them, be that step for them to go out there and accomplish their dreams. The same way I did."

Timothy Rapp, Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo to Donate $1M to

Milwaukee Mental Health Services,” Twitter, March 1, 2023

Giannis is not “soft”

The NBA superstar is currently averaging 31.2 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. However, he remembers having problems adjusting to a new game and a new country, and he sought help for his emotional needs.

And he is open about them,

“People that talk to the sports psychiatrists and stuff like that, they label us ‘soft.’ We’ve seen that in the past, like, ‘Oh, man, I’m having anxiety.’ ‘Man, you’re soft. Go deal with that.’ That’s how it’s labeled. That’s why it’s hard for people to talk to somebody and open up. Even for me, it was extremely tough.”

“I started doing it when I was 18. When you’re that young and you’re doing it, people don’t understand the amount of pressure because at the end of the day, you don’t only have to perform and be the best, you have the big brand that you got to carry on your shoulder. You have your own country, Japan, that you got to carry on your shoulder. Or Greece, in my case. You have all these people that you got to take care of. Sometimes…

Translation from GQ, February 2023

Where are Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers?

Many American athletes do give back, but few give the kind of money that Giannis has. They forget where they came from and are very self-centered.

When was the last time that Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers made a huge contribution to the community? Brady has reportedly made $350 million dollars in his NFL years with the Patriots, yet I am still waiting for athletes like him to make huge donations to their communities like this Greek immigrant.

It is a tremendous contribution to the Milwaukee community — and a tremendous view into the heart of a good man.

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