Giannis Antetokounmpo meets other Greeks on basketball court

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Saying things have been rough for the Milwaukee Bucks this season is putting it lightly, but last week, something rare happened inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and it made Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo's night!

"Let me see -- I think I am very handsome!" Antetokounmpo said.

And the thousands of fans that took home the "Greek and Still Growing" poster last Wednesday night, January 15th won't argue with Antetokounmpo.

But as great as the poster is, the matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies was special for a different reason. It was the first time this season that Antetokounmpo played against other Greeks in the NBA -- Grizzlies' Kosta Koufas and Nick Calaythas.

"Yeah I talk to them, tell them 'hi.' It was the first time I really got to meet them. They are really nice guys. I wish them the best," Antetokounmpo said.

Antetokounmpo said the group spoke in Greek, but Koufas said there was no Greek trash talk -- especially since he highly respects Antetokounmpo as a player.

"He's playing very well, and he's young too. In my opinion he could be an All-Star some day. He's got all the tangibles to be a super star as well. He makes the country proud and we're happy for him," Koufas said.

Calaythas feels the same way, and thinks Antetokounmpo has matured on the court.

"He's improved since his first game here. He's gotten a lot better, and hopefully, he'll help us overseas for the summer World Championships and the Olympics, and he'll keep getting better," Calaythas said.

All three Greek players said they hope to see more Greek players in the NBA over the next couple of years.

"There's a lot of Greek players over in Greece that could play in the NBA right now. You've got Vassilis Spanoulis -- you've got a lot of players. It's one of those things, whether they choose to come here or not. It's their decision," Koufas said.

Antetokounmpo chose to come here, so what goes into that kind of a decision -- and why would a Greek player choose to stay in their native country?

"They don't want to take the risks -- to come and go into the draft or go play in the NCAA. Some guys prefer to play on the Greek team and stay with their families," Antetokounmpo said.

Whether they choose to stay or choose to come to the NBA, the players feel Greeks in basketball are represented well.

"It's great. It's great for us, and it's great for the country. It shows how far Greek basketball has come, and how great Greek basketball is," Calaythas said.

"It shows we're here too. We're proud to be Greek and we want to make our country proud, so that's what we're doing -- Giannis, Nick and myself. We got to get the Greek name out there," Koufas said.

Out of the three Greeks, Antetokounmpo is the only one that was actually born in Greece -- and both Calaythas and Koufas are excited to see where Antetokounmpo's younger brother, Kostas will end up in this year's draft.