Antetokounmpo to Toronto Greeks: “Long Live Greece”

first_imgOnly Greeks from Canada know how to organize such an epic Greek Heritage Night, presented by The Greek Canadian Games, in honor of Giannis Antetokounmpo.  The 1,500 Greeks were a thundering presence at the “Scotiabank Arena” for the sake of their fellow compatriot, the Milwaukee Bucks ace, Giannis Antetokounmpo. They arrived well before the opening tip of the hotly contested game between the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks so that they could watch and cheer on Giannis. They also remained after the game was over for a chance to see him up close. Before Giannis stole the show of Greek Heritage Night, former NBA star and former coach of the Canadian National Basketball team, Leo Rautins, and Toronto Raptors star Norman Powell, rallied up the crowd in the arena. After saying a few words jumpstarting the event, Powell found himself among all the Greeks – taking selfies with them and signing autographs whenever asked. The children just before going out to accompany the basketball players on the floor. Photo: The Greek-Canadian Games.Leo Rautins also had some advice for the young Greeks in the arena. He told them, “if you want to become great players, you have to work on your shot. Just shoot.” He then took photographs with the fans and signed autographs as well.And then, the main attraction took place. Even though Giannis should have been in a rush, as the Bucks’ bus was waiting for him, he never showed his haste and still found the time to go to the stands where his fans decorated the arena with their blue and white garb. He asked the spectators whether he should address them in Greek or English. They all shouted, “Greek!” He then told him how thankful he was for their support of him and for their support of the Bucks.“Long live Greece. Thank you all very much,” were the last words of the night by Giannis. Photo: The Greek-Canadian Games.He made all the Greeks incredibly proud, and as he left, he started a chant that echoed through the stands: “Long Live Greece – Ζήτω η Ελλάδα.” Everyone erupted with applause and cheers – chaos, in the best sense of the word. Some began singing our National Anthem, while others yelled, “Giannis, Giannis!” Leo Rautins with Dr. Fotis Karantonis, the organizer of Greek Heritage Night (presented by the Greek Canadian Games), and hundreds of Greeks. Photo: The Greek-Canadian Games.Dr. Fotis Karantonis, the organizer of this perfect event, thanked Giannis, from the bottom of his heart, for coming to meet all the fans and wished him happy holidays and the best of luck in the NBA.After the event was over, Dr. Karantonis said that most of the fans expected Giannis to leave and not delay the Bucks’ bus any longer. “Giannis instead sat down patiently with the children, signed many autographs and took photos with his fans. He is unbelievable. Even though he was in a hurry, he signed autographs, thanked us, and never once lost his smile,” Dr. Karantonis said admiringly of Giannis.The Greek children accompanied the Bucks and Raptors onto the basketball court. Photo: The Greek-Canadian Games.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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