Around The Hill: Which Young NBA Player Would You Build a Franchise Around?

Teddy Campbell, David Minster & Ethan Marchetti

By Teddy Campbell, Maroon-News Staff

They call him the Greek Freak, and the nickname doesn’t lie. With a name like Giannis Antetokounmpo, the man is definitely Greek. And if you’ve ever seen him play basketball, you’ll know he’s a freak, in the best sense of the word. Many rising stars in the NBA have a certain skill that’s brought them to the league, but Antetokounmpo is already one of the most versatile players in the league. The 6’11 small forward led the 2016-2017 Bucks in points, blocks, steals, assists and rebounds per game. Antetokounmpo is just 22, and he’s already making his mark on the NBA. He has singlehandedly made the Milwaukee Bucks relevant. In fact, he’s made Milwaukee sports relevant (apologies to the two Brewers fans who go to Colgate).

The Bucks are going to be an exciting team to watch in the thin Eastern Conference, and that’s largely due to Antetokounmpo. People go to basketball games to see exciting, crazy plays, and Antetokounmpo is definitely, as they say in the biz, “a human highlight reel.” The league is taking notice. In 2017, he was voted the Most Improved Player as well as an NBA All-Star. I predict many more All-Star elections in the future, and if he’s surrounded by the right players, at least one NBA championship. The only mark against this guy is that his last name is incredibly hard to spell. Luckily, he has one of the best nicknames in the NBA.

By David Minster, Senior Sports Editor

This guy could win the MVP next season, but I don’t think I’ll ever pronounce his name correctly. So I’ll just call him the Greek Freak. The Greek Freak, aka Giannis Antetokounmpo, is arguably the most well-rounded player in the league. He punishes opposing teams on both sides of the ball, slamming the ball home with authority and blocking shots with no regard for human life. He is also TWENTY-TWO YEARS OLD. Giannis controls the floor with ease, always finding the open man and leading fast breaks off his steals. He is technically a small forward/guard, but the guy is 6’11. For comparison, Dwight Howard is also 6’11 and is nowhere near as quick or athletic as Giannis. Giannis’ wingspan is 7’3, he grew three inches since getting drafted by the Bucks, and his hands are 12 inches from thumb to pinky, certainly putting the “Freak” in Greek Freak.

Last season, he made his first All-Star game and started amongst the best in the league. He ran away with the Most Improved Player award given his top-20 finish in total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, the first player ever to accomplish such feat. So, you’re asking me who I’d pick to build a franchise around? I’ll take the gargantuan ball-handler who dominates every statistical category and strikes fear in the hearts of the league’s best players. I might even rename my franchise “The Greek Freaks” as an ode to him.

By Ethan Marchetti, Maroon-News Staff

If I had to build a team around one young player in the NBA, it would

be Giannis Antetokounmpo.  First of all, Antetokounmpo is a physical specimen.  Appropriately nicknamed the “Greek Freak,” he stands a staggering 6 feet, 11 inches tall, not to mention his 7 foot long wingspan and 12 inch hands.  Other than from his physical traits, he has shown

exceptional growth since being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013.  Since his rookie season, Giannis has improved in every major statistical category, especially scoring.  He experienced his best season just last year, averaging 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists.  Antetokounmpo was also named an All-Star starter and the NBA’s Most Improved Player last season, proving that he is a force to be reckoned with in this league.

The most remarkable thing about Giannis, though, is that he is only 22 years old.  Coming straight from Greece to the NBA as a teenager, he was able to gain valuable experience as a pro at a very young age, allowing him to

develop his skills alongside the game’s best.  Antetokounmpo is an anomaly for GM’s in this sense, because having 22-year-old player with tremendous physical attributes, proven skill and professional experience is something that the league has never seen before.

He has already shown that he is an elite player in the league, and at 22, his potential is unlimited, making him the ideal young player to build a team around in the NBA.