The Greek Cafe hosts a pre-dawn watch party to honor Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks’ victory.
The Associated Press reported that a cafe in Greece, where NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo used to stop by before practice as a teenager, staged a pre-dawn watch party to watch his Milwaukee Bucks win the championship in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
A dozen fans gathered with Yiannis Tzikas, owner of the Kivotos Cafe, to watch the game, which started at 4 a.m. local time and ended with the Bucks defeating the Phoenix Suns 105-98 to win their first championship since 1971. Tzikas set out glasses for celebration champagne just before the game ended.
“This is Giannis’ time to shine. Tzikas told AP, “He deserved it, and we’re proud of him.”
Antetokounmpo grew up a few blocks from the cafe, which is located in Sepolia, a suburb of greater Athens, and visits there whenever he returns to Greece, according to Tzikas.
“He was always simple, humble, and nice, and he never forgot where he came from as he grew up,” Tzikas recalled.
Antetokounmpo was voted series MVP after scoring 50 points in the game.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
“It’s finished. Tzikas declared soon before the game’s end, his hands quivering slightly as he popped the champagne cork, “No one can turn this game now.”
As a teenager in the old factory town, Antetokounmpo would stop at the cafe for a sandwich and a juice box on his way to basketball practice.
Tzikas opened up in the early hours of Wednesday morning to catch the game and see the “Greek Freak” lead the Bucks to their first championship in 50 years.
Antetokounmpo had 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in the game.
Tzikas gave a dozen admirers who were watching the game with him drinks.
Throughout the first half, supporters, friends, and old acquaintances in Sepolia sat glumly as Phoenix lead. As the sun rose, the crowd came to life.
“We didn’t expect this at the start of the season, but after the [Bucks] turned the finals around, we could see it coming,” Kyriacos Hager, who wore Giannis’ No. 34 jersey, said. “[Antetokounmpo] has given this generation new sporting role models. He’s no longer Giannis of Sepolia; he’s Giannis of the entire world, a source of inspiration for many.”
Tzikas’ Cafe appears to have been named after Noah’s Ark. This is a condensed version of the information.