Nigerian-Greek National Basketball Association (NBA) player, Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo has officially launched a learning centre for Igbo literacy with a focus on children in Nigeria.
The Milwaukee Bucks star unveiled this project in Lagos, captured in a in a WhatsApp-produced homecoming documentary titled “Ugo: A Homecoming Story”.
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, the film details his first visit to Nigeria last year July 2023, when he received grand welcome.
Through the documentary, Antetokounmpo explains that he would be partnering with WhatsApp for the implementation of the centre, which will serve as an enabling environment for Igbo children to learn their native language.
Speaking on what inspired the centre, the basketball star said his mother, as well as his background of being raised by parents of different tribes, provided the muse behind the initiative.
“It was unbelievable. I have a book that my mum can read in Igbo and translate below in English.
“If I had that, I would probably be speaking my mother’s language or my father’s language. I know that I needed it, I wish that my kids and grandkids can have it. It is amazing,” he said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo originally Giannis Adetokunbo was born on December 6, 1994 to Nigerian parents. His mother is Igbo, and his father is Yoruba.
The “Greek Freak” who is NBA’s Most Valuable Player says he is excited to be finally reconnecting with his Nigerian roots.