Giannis Antetokounmpo Will Play in Olympic Qualifiers for Greece

Giannis Antetokounmpo will play in Olympic qualifiers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will play in Olympic qualifiers. Credit: Erik Drost. CC BY 2.0/Wikimedia Commons/Erik Drost

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has confirmed his participation in the upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, despite being hit with a season-ending calf injury in April that stopped him from playing in the Bucks’ playoff run.

This decision may come as a shock to some fans, because Antetokounmpo missed a large amount of playoff time due to injury for the second consecutive year, and supporters hoped he would focus on recovery and preparing for the 2024-25 NBA season.

But Antetokounmpo will now be back on the court, leading Greece in their mission to achieve Olympic qualification in Piraeus.

Antetokounmpo’s Accolades Ahead of the Olympics

In January Antetokounmpo became the third player in NBA history to average 32-plus points, 13-plus rebounds, and 7-plus assists on 55 percent field goals in a 10-game span within a single season. This places him among the ranks of Nikola Jokic and Wilt Chamberlain.

Antetokounmpo was averaging a career-high 31.6 points per game on 61 percent shooting. He also broke the franchise record for most points in a game last season when he scored 64 points against the Indiana Pacers. His 48 points against the Houston Rockets was the second consecutive 40-plus point game and the sixth time last season.

Antetokounmpo now equals Abdul-Jabbar’s record for the Bucks, but the legendary center went on to do it two more times with the Los Angeles Lakers, for a total of 20 games with 45-plus points scored.

The 2024 FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments will be basketball tournaments set to be contested by 24 national teams, where the top teams earn a place in the 2024 Summer Olympics basketball tournament. They are scheduled to take place from July 2 to 7, 2024 in Greece, Latvia, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

The FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments include the 16 best-placed non-qualified teams from the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the three highest-ranked countries per region in the FIBA World Ranking.

The five other teams were determined through the Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments.
Previous international experience for the leading player of the Milwaukee Bucks ranges from debuting at the U20 level in 2013 to the senior level via the 2014 and 2019 installments of the FIBA World Cup, the 2015 and 2022 editions of EuroBasket, and the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Turin. The approaching challenge corresponds to the OQT to be held in Greece.

Hosting Greece takes on the Dominican Republic on July 3 and Egypt on July 4 in the Peace and Friendship Stadium, SEF. Ranking first or second in Group B of the preliminary stage would advance the team guided by Spanoulis to a single-elimination game against Croatia, Slovenia, or New Zealand in the Semifinals. Reaching the Final earns an opportunity to clinch one Olympic Games berth available across the six countries.

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