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Greek basketball star Antetokounmpo calls for support for migrants

Greek basketball star Antetokounmpo calls for support for migrants

Greece

The recent migrant crisis has seen scores of people fleeing violence and war in their home countries, head towards Europe in the hopes of starting a new life.

Greece has been one of the countries in Europe where most of the migrants have sought shelter, particularly, the Greek island of Lesbos.

And as some European countries are taking measures to keep the refugees out, there are those who are pushing for countries to welcome the refugees.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a professional basketball player in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks is one of the many hoping to see a change in the situation of the refugees.

The 6-foot-11 point guard and his brother Thanasis (an NBA Development league player) are Greek nationals of Nigerian descent meaning the issue of migration is one they are all too familiar with.

The brothers were recently back in Athens to host a charity basketball game.

“I want to tell them (refugees) that if they believe in their dreams and they want to achieve them, they should never stop. Many obstacles will come their way, but they will have to continue to struggle,” Giannis told Euronews.

He explained that his family’s “fight” for survival spanned 25 years but “people simply learned about it” three years ago when he became famous.

“There will be difficulties. It will take time, sacrifices, (and) you will have to sweat, maybe to bleed, to cry, but when at the end you make it, there will be a great feeling,’‘ he added.

Over a million migrants have landed on Greek shores over the past year and Thanasis believes a simple kind gesture can go a long way to help those who have fled their countries in search of a better life.

“The migrants come here (to Europe) because there is no life in their countries. They come for a better future. You can help a person even with just a hug. Because they are not only immigrants. They are human beings and all of us should help,” Thanasis told Euronews.

Although born in Greece in 1994, Giannis Antetokounmpo officially gained Greek citizenship on May 9, 2013.