Giannis Antetokounmpo has won two NBA MVP Awards and one NBA Championship. He's been selected to the All-NBA First Team five times and made seven appearances in the NBA All-Star Game. He's gone from a gangly, potential-loaded teenager who grew up in Greece to one of the greatest basketball players of all time, a 6'11 forward who vanquishes his hapless opponents with his rare combination of strength, athleticism, finess and court awareness.
He's done a lot, to be sure, but he's never been to his family's homeland of Nigeria — until now, at least. A new documentary Ugo: A Homecoming Story produced in association with WhatsApp spotlights Giannis' first trip to Nigeria, alongside his mother who emigrated from Nigeria to Greece almost four decades ago. Across the course of the 31-minute film — directed by Rick Famuyiwa, whose prior credits include The Mandalorian and Dope — Giannis dives into his family's heritage and Nigerian traditions, discovering his roots in deep, heartfelt fashion.
"Growing up in Greece, my Nigerian culture was something my mother made sure we carried with us, but I was never lucky enough to have a direct experience in my homeland," Giannis said. "To be able to travel back to where she was born, and build a new Nigerian family, has been one of the most rewarding experiences [of my life] and only made me more proud of the many cultures that make me who I am. I’m proud to share this journey which I hope many around the world can connect to, showing us that we all have a different meaning of ‘home,’ even when we’re far away from it.”
Watch Ugo: A Homecoming Story in its entirity above.