Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill spoke Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family about their incredible journey from Greece to the NBA. The Antetokounmpo family joined Yahoo Sports on behalf of their new movie Rise releasing June 24 on Disney+.
VINCE GOODWILL: Thanks for joining us here on Yahoo Sports. I'm here with the Antetokounmpo family for their Disney+ movie, "Rise," that's gonna be premiering this week. I want to start with Mama Veronica. At what point did you realize that your family's life story was so unique that it could become the subject of a Disney story or any type of film?
VERONICA ANTETOKOUNMPO: From the beginning of our time, I've trusted my kids for whatever, hoping that one day, this will work out well. And at the same time, watching the plane coming to NBA, moving all around the world, Championship, and everything. Then I was saying, this is going to take us to a greater place in the future. Then, this is where we are now today. We are very amazing.
VINCE GOODWILL: Absolutely. Thanasis, I have a question for you too because you're the oldest of the four. Was there, like, a moment where you were like, oh, we're in a totally different space now?
THANASIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I think, for me, and when we started playing basketball and we came here to the US, that was our first trip living the country, come to the US. And then when Giannis got drafted, and to me, changed my whole world and for my family. Because I knew, I was like, oh, man, look at all these young talents that we see from TV playing college basketball, doing all these things. And we're right next to them And my go second round when I get drafted.
But It doesn't really matter because we're right there. And that makes you believe. And then see him get drafted. And then, see somebody who's, like, next to me in doing all these things. It got me so motivated that I was like, oh my God, this is different now. It's a different feel. It's like do something for the first time, and then you're like, oh, man, I need to do this again and again and again. Like, with the move and everything kind of gave us a glimpse to just stop and look back of what has happened till now.
VINCE GOODWILL: Well, this for Alex and Kostas, because your journeys are completely different than your older brothers. How much memory do you have of life before coming here? Giannis and Thanasis, they lived it at a certain point of level of maturity, where you guys were so young. So what are your memories, or what stands out most to you from being in Greece, compared to, maybe, being here?
KOSTAS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I definitely remember the life, you know? Because I talk about this all the time, like, the change in our life was so drastic. You Like he said, when Giannis got drafted, then we came to the US, the life already changed. So it wasn't like a-- didn't take a long time to forget the life before that. So it's like you went from that to that real quick. So I don't think it's really easy to forget.
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: That's really true.
KOSTAS ANTETOKOUNMPO: What'd you say?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I said that's really true.
KOSTAS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Yeah, I remember it, from my perspective. I don't know if Alex.
ALEX ANTETOKOUNMPO: I definitely, definitely remember. It's not really something you're able to forget, no. But I think, just like he said, the change in our life wasn't really gradual. It was kind of a quick thing. So it kind of like almost shocked you. Even moving to America, it was like a culture shock. For me, definitely, I don't know, of course, for you.
KOSTAS ANTETOKOUNMPO: You know what's crazy? This, like the way we are now, the way we live, like being in the NBA and having three brothers that won a Championship. Sometimes, I don't know if you understand that, but that's like, It'll feel like maybe it's a dream. Like, when I wake up and we're back in the house we used to be. You're just in the bed. I really feel like that sometimes. I'm like, well, maybe-- because it happened so quick. It's not like, like Alex said, it's not gradual. And we're still here, young. I'm 24, Alex is 21, Giannis is 27. Thanasis is-- he's still 29, 30. We just still young men. So it's special, for sure.
VINCE GOODWILL: Giannis, you being the one that a lot of this revolves around, and you being the hard-driving personality that you've always been, are you harder on your younger brothers because of the things that you've had to see and endure before you got here? I know you can be very encouraging as a teammate. But do you find yourself being-- having higher expectations because of everything that you had to get to to get here?
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: Um, what I saw in my life, they saw the same things. Kostas was 14, going to 15 when he moved to the States. Alex was 11, going 12. You know, they had to struggle. When we were taking chips for going to cities outside Athens, to sell stuff in the car. They were right there. They were selling stuff. You guys see in the movie, they had to go through a lot of things to be tough. I believe the men that they are today, It's unbelievable. They wouldn't be who they are today without going through what we went through. And then I'm proud of both of them.
Now, as a older brother, do I always push them to be great, and be great human being, and be the best version of themselves. Obviously, you know, I want that. But I want them to be happy. I want them to enjoy what they're doing. When they go out there on the court, or whatever they decide to do, I want them to enjoy it. Because that's what my dad would want to happen.
For me personally, my life and my life change was when I got in that plane, man. Like, we got in the playing and we went to the United States of America. Sitting in the first class and landing in the airport, going through customs, smelling the air. I knew our lives changed. That's when I got drafted, went back, and there was 50 media personnel and camera people in the airport waiting for us.
- There was just so many people waiting.
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: There were so many people, though. So we kind of knew our lives changed. Kind of had that feeling like, oh, OK, this is how it's gonna be from now on. But I think everybody here-- it was tough. I'm not gonna say it wasn't tough. But everybody here enjoyed our time when we all together and it was kind of quiet. We had privacy. We could do what we want. We could be silly, everywhere together.
Now we're all doing our profession. Kostas is in Leon. Thanasis, obviously, now with Milwaukee. But before, he was in Spain and Greece, Alex in Toronto. I've been in Milwaukee. My Brother, Francis, is accomplishing his goals as a artist in Greece. So we all in different places. So we all kind of miss that time in the past that we were all together. Even though it was tough, but we were all together and we were having fun.
VINCE GOODWILL: Well, I got a wrap on that. Thank you, Antetokounmpo family, Veronica, Giannis, Thanasis, Alex, Kostas, really appreciate it. Thanks for joining us here on Yahoo Sports. Real appreciated.
THANASIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: All right. Be safe.