“He was more than homesick. He missed his family.”
He Was More Than Homesick is a short story by David Guterson that describes the struggles of an immigrant. It’s about how homesickness can affect people in different ways.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s transformation from a gangly project to an all-conquering deity is unrivaled in the contemporary NBA. But things might have gone so differently. Antetokounmpo struggled to adapt to life in America without his family, who had been there for him through his worst moments.
The Bucks star was so homesick that he vowed to quit the league if he had to do it alone. Thankfully, common reason prevailed, and “The Greek Freak” remained in the spotlight, ultimately becoming a cultural icon.
While his family was stranded in Greece, Giannis Antetokounmpo felt terrible about joining the NBA.
The Milwaukee Bucks selected Giannis Antetokounmpo as a rookie in 2013 | Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Many NBA players have had difficult upbringings, but the Antetokounmpos’ struggles are especially harrowing. His parents, Charles and Veronica, struggled to make ends meet. As a result, Giannis and his brothers contributed to the family’s ability to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.
To help their family survive, Giannis and his brothers sold watches, purses, and sunglasses on the streets. They were never able to overcome poverty in Greece. Giannis, on the other hand, learned lessons about persistence from the event that have come to define his life.
“I’m always going to remain modest,” he told ESPN in 2018. “Just growing up and going through life and how difficult it was for me and my family, I’m always going to stay humble.” “It doesn’t matter whether I have a $100 million deal or a $100 million Nike contract; it’s the way I grew up and the way I live my life.” “I’m not going to change.”
But, for the first time in his life, Giannis suffered tremendously when he was away from his family. His family had a difficult time obtaining visas. The New York Times released an extract from a chapter called “Lonely” in Mirin Fader’s perfectly timed book Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP.
Giannis’ shame was so intense, as Fader writes, that he fought every desire to spend his money on anything that wasn’t a need. Just a few years ago, the young NBA star was concerned with the idea that his money would have changed his family’s lives.
Even though his cable cost was just $20 a month, Giannis refused to pay it. He bought a new PlayStation and returned it the next day. And despite receiving 82 pairs of sneakers from Nike, he only wore two pairs throughout his first season.
His history had been so traumatic that he couldn’t appreciate the present. “However, how could Antetokounmpo be sure?” wrote Fader. There was a lot more wishful thinking. He’d always strived for just enough. One poor day of selling, one accident, and you may not have enough. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t good enough.”
Antetokounmpo was on the verge of returning to Europe due to visa issues.
“He was a weakling. He was terrified. He had no need to go home, so he would sleep at the gym.”
It wasn’t easy for Giannis to adjust to life in America. He was on the verge of leaving the league when his family battled to get an American visa. pic.twitter.com/HRz3Vu0UvO #FindingGiannis
February 19, 2019 — NBA TV (@NBATV)
Antetokounmpo has had a difficult season on the court. The Bucks only managed to win 15 games, the fewest in the NBA. The most noteworthy event was Larry Sanders breaking his thumb in a nightclub brawl after signing a four-year, $44 million contract in the summer. In addition, Milwaukee saw its lowest temperatures in two decades due to an Arctic polar vortex.
Antetokounmpo was on the verge of losing his job when immigration authorities rejected his family’s visa application for the second time. He requested regular information from Bucks General Manager John Hammond on when his mom and siblings will be able to visit America. However, there was no development.
Over time, personal achievement without someone to share it with seems empty. Unless his family could make it to the United States, Giannis said that he was ready to leave everything behind in order to be with his family. According to the New York Times, Fader recounts the incident in her book as follows:
“Because of the eight-hour time difference, Antetokounmpo would Skype with his family early in the morning or late at night. ‘I’m going to do this for as long as I have to, but if y’all can’t come, I’m coming back,’ Antetokounmpo told his family one night in November 2013, irritated by his family’s failure to get visas.
His brothers were grateful for his devotion, but they didn’t want him to abandon his goal for them. Everyone received their visas on the third attempt, which was fortunate for the family and Bucks fans. Antetokounmpo was able to give his all on the floor.
Antetokounmpo was reunited with his family, and he was free to reach his full potential.
It wasn’t long ago that Antetokounmpo’s ability to play in the playoffs was questioned. Is his inability to jump-shoot an inevitable Achilles heel? Was his playing style too predictable to get him beyond the first round of the playoffs? Was he not a good enough “hooper”? In retrospect, it all seems ridiculous.
In a manner that only Antetokounmpo could, Antetokounmpo guided the Bucks to the promised land. He smacked everyone the Phoenix Suns threw at him with his whopping stick. They couldn’t stop him from completely ruining the rim. His flexibility on defense was a big reason why the Suns attack slowed down in the last three games of the Finals. And he did it only weeks after bending his knee in the Eastern Conference Finals like a flamingo’s neck.
Antetokounmpo put on a show for the ages. Bringing a title to a tiny market without the use of a great squad made him one of the most popular champions in recent memory.
Everyone might understand if Antetokounmpo wanted to bask in his own glory, but that isn’t who he is. When the clock hit zero and the Bucks were declared champions, Giannis euro-stepped through the jubilant players and coaches and dashed into the bleachers to see his mother and brother, Kostas.
All the money and adulation are great, but the Antetokounmpos know what matters most in life.
RELATED: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ‘Favorite Moment’ in the NBA Involved Him Not Even Touching a Basketball
He Was More Than Homesick is a short story written by the author, Laura E. Richards. It tells the story of an immigrant who comes to America for a new life but struggles with homesickness. Reference: homesickness symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does homesick mean in slang?
Homesick is a term used to describe someone who is feeling homesick or longing for home. In slang, it can also refer to being in a bad mood due to being away from home.
How can I use the word homesick in a sentence?
I am homesick for my friends and family.
What is feeling homesick?
Feeling homesick is a feeling of longing for home. It can be caused by many different reasons, such as being away from home for the first time, moving to a new place, or even just not having been back in a while.
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