Giannis to be key player for Greece in World Cup

NBA's Most Valuable Player last season, Giannis Antetokounmpo is Greece's go-to-guy in China

Fatih Erel   | 29.08.2019
Giannis to be key player for Greece in World Cup


NBA star Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the key player for Greece in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

The tournament will kick off on Aug. 31 and run through Sept.15.

Giannis, "The Greek Freak", was named as the best player in the NBA in the 2018-19 season.

The superstar's "combination of size, length and athleticism makes him hard to stop," FIBA said.

"Offensively he gets to the rim and thrives in transition. Defensively he swats shots and guards any player at any time," FIBA said.

The 24-year-old is a Greek-born child of Nigerian immigrants.

Antetokounmpo is expected to lift the Greek national team to among the favorites to win the World Cup, right next to Serbia and U.S.A.

In 2006, the Greek basketball team performed their best in the World Cup tournament when they met Spain in the final.

Greece was the runner-up of the 2006 World Cup when Spain won the title.

They will compete in the World Cup tournament for the eighth time.

Greece is currently in the 8th place in FIBA World Rankings.

- Brazil looks for return to glory days

Brazil aims for return to their glory days in the World Cup.

Brazil will be in Group F with Greece, New Zealand and Montenegro.

After a 55-year break, they aim to win their third gold medal in the World Cup. Brazil won two World Cup titles in 1959 and 1963.

They competed in all 17 World Cup tournaments and their latest success was claiming the third spot in 1978.

Brazil is currently in the 12th place in FIBA World Rankings.

NBA stars Toronto Raptors' Bruno Caboclo and Chicago Bulls' Cristiano Felicio are in Brazil's squad.

- Montenegro

Montenegro will take part in the World Cup for the first time in history.

They are currently in the 28th place in FIBA World Rankings.

Montenegro will face Greece in their first World Cup match in China.

- New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the two Oceania countries in the tournament. New Zealand and Australia qualified for the World Cup in China.

They finished fourth place in the 2002 World Cup tournament. It was their top success in World Cup history.

New Zealand will compete in the World Cup tournament for the sixth time.

September 1:

New Zealand - Brazil

Greece - Montenegro

September 3:

Brazil - Greece

Montenegro - New Zealand

September 5:

Brazil - Montenegro

Greece - New Zealand

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