The long wait is over for Giannis Antetokounmpo

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(CNN Philippines) — There will always be room for great stories in sports particularly in basketball.

From overcoming career-ending injuries to achieving the ultimate goal, basketball will never run out of inspiring stories.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was destined to be a star in the NBA. The 6-foot-11 cager with a 7'3 wingspan can easily dominate the game of giants.

But Giannis' journey to the NBA was not easy. Born in Greece to Nigerian parents, he was tagged as stateless for the first 18 years of his life for having no documents from his homeland or Greece.

Poverty made it harder for his family to live as he and his brothers sold watches, handbags, and sunglasses in the streets of Athens.

Giannis started to play basketball at the age of 14. His height might be the reason why a third division team in Greece gave him a chance in 2011, but they did not know what to expect from him.

NBA scouts noticed his potential, and in 2013, he was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Giannis slowly made a name for himself as the 'Greek Freak' because of his unbelievable athleticsm and tenactity on the hard court.

He received individual recognitions left and right. Back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards, five All-Star selections, All-NBA First and Second Team nods, Defensive Player of the Year, and Most Improved Player honor. There was one missing: the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

The Bucks were the top seeded team in the Eastern Conference for two consecutive seasons: 2019 and 2020. However, they could not get over the hump and advance to the NBA Finals. Critics started to blame Giannis for his lack of leadership and some even suggested to trade him.

Amid all of the noise, Giannis stayed with the Bucks and trusted that they will build a title-contending team. He made the right decision.

In this year's Finals, the Phoenix Suns were the heavily favored team to win the title. With a young and exciting core, the Suns had the Bucks' numbers after beating them twice in the regular season. The momentum continued as the Suns built a 2-0 series lead in the Finals.

With the same trend that haunted them in the previous seasons, Bucks fans were looking for a spark, and their team responded to the call with more determination.

A different Bucks showed up in Game 3 and the rest of the series. Giannis was a different animal, he was like a hungry deer focused on silencing the people who doubted his capabilities.

Giannis averaged 38.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in the Finals. These are impressive numbers given his talent. What stood out in the last four games was he believed in his teammates. He did not put the responsibility on his shoulders alone and let his team thrive with him. Afterall, basketball is and will always be a team sport.

As the Bucks smelled victory in Game 6, Giannis stepped up when he was needed the most. He dropped 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks — making him the first player to do this in a playoff game since blocks were first tracked in 1973-74.

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It would be no surprise if Milwaukee fans consider building a statue for Giannis in the future for helping them end a 50-year title drought. The impact he had with the franchise goes beyond the achievements in his Hall of Fame career.

From being a stateless child who grew up in a foreign land to reaching the pinnacle of basketball success, Giannis triumphed against all odds, never giving up on his dreams.