Giannis Antetokounmpo starts strong in the European U20 Championships

Giannis against Germany in the Euro U20s. (Bucks Instagram)
Giannis against Germany in the Euro U20s. (Bucks Instagram)

There are at least two unfortunate things about Giannis Antetokounmpo playing for Greece in the European U20 Championship.

1. His commitment to the national team means he won’t be attending the Vegas Summer League with the Milwaukee Bucks’ other rookie, Nate Wolters and Milwaukee’s other young prospects, John Henson and Ish Smith. Obviously, the more time those guys all spend together, play basketball together and play in Milwaukee’s system together, the better. He’s missing out on those opportunities right now.

2. Giannis is sight unseen right now. The games are not streaming online, so we’re forced to rely on box scores. Like a bunch of internet nerds, amiright? We have highlights too, but he’s been conspicuously absent from the majority of them for reasons that I can’t quite figure out.

But that’s where things get fortunate again. Because through the resources we do have to follow Giannis in Estonia, it appears that he’s more than holding his own, which actually makes the highlight thing even more curious. Because if anyone had to have had a highlight in Greece’s first three games, you’d think it would be Giannis.

He’s in a handful of highlights from his most recent game, Greece’s 75-61 victory over Georgia:

Through three games, he’s averaged 13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He’s gone 11-27 from the field, 7-14 from 3-point range and 10-14 from the line. He’s blocked 1.7 shots and nabbed 1.7 steals per game as Greece has gone 3-0. But I wondered what the competition was like. Is it better than summer league? Better than the league he was in last season? Is his production here worth getting excited about?

I asked @Euro_Adventures, a blog covering, you guessed it, Euro Leagues. Here’s our back and forth on Twitter:

Categories: The Off Season

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  1. as long as it’s real organized basketball, that’s all I care about.. not that street ball garbage that BJen thinks is making him a better player during the summer.. should be pretty competitive because they are representing their country

  2. Woot 2 passes and a 3 pointers, Giannis is moving up in the world of FIBA highlights.

    Last game was rough based on the box score at least: 25% shooting, 5 points only 1 FT attempt. On the bright side he only had 8 shots and had 7 rebounds and 6 assists too.

    I’m unjustifiably excited.

  3. I really hope he stays in Europe another year. Coming to the NBA and getting his ass kicked would not be good for his psyche