Dear Giannis Antetokounmpo: Slice of Life 5/31 #sol17

slice of life

Dear Giannis Antetokounmpo,

A lot of people call you by your nickname, The Greek Freak, perhaps because they think your name is hard to say. You are Greek, and you are freakishly athletic and freakishly good at basketball, so I suppose “The Greek Freak” isn’t entirely inaccurate. In my house, though, we always call you by your full name—because it’s a fun name to say and my son is proud that he learned it so easily.

Probably most people who write to you have something to say about basketball.

But I have something to say about family.

We are just a little bit in love with the Antetokounmpo family at our house.

We love the way you talk about your brothers in interviews. We love the way you say if you ever get an MVP trophy, it’s going straight to your mom. We love the way you and your brother live in the upstairs apartment and your parents live in the downstairs apartment. We love how your parents show up for every game and sit across from the bench where you can see them. We love that you know exactly how many games they have missed (three). We love how you characterize the months you were separated from them after you were first drafted into the NBA as the hardest time in your life. We love how easy family seems to come to you.

Family isn’t always easy for us, Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s not something we get to take for granted.

Last night, my son said, “I know what you’re scared of, Mom.”

I got very quiet because I guessed he was about to tell me what he is scared of.

“You’re scared of losing me. You’re scared I’m going to grow up and leave you. But I’m not. We’re just like the Antetokounmpos. It’s okay, because we’re always going to be like the Antetokounmpos.”

That’s all, Giannis. Thank you.


A Grateful Mom





13 responses to “Dear Giannis Antetokounmpo: Slice of Life 5/31 #sol17”

  1. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski Avatar
    Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski

    So poignant and beautifully written. Just loved this!

  2. carwilc Avatar

    You are such an amazing writer! Another beautiful piece! I wish my boys felt like this!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you, Carol. My son definitely doesn’t feel this way all the time. The moments before and after this were pretty hair-raising!

  3. scott day (@runningscott59) Avatar

    So often children possess greater wisdom than we can fathom. Your son is very wise. Beautiful words.

  4. Emily Culbertson Avatar

    Aw, so sweet. Isn’t that a dream? You must be doing a fine job raising that boy!

  5. Lehua Gerboc-Naulangi Avatar

    This was beautiful! I love how you penned your thoughts about this basketball player, in a letter, and the connection between him and your family. I hope you save this for your son to read one day! Thank you for sharing!

  6. quotesphotosandwonders Avatar

    I’m sure your heart was full when your son shared those words with you. I love how you connected your story with one of someone your family is a fan of!

  7. Tricia Ebarvia Avatar

    This is so wonderful – thank you for sharing it. Recently, my boys – especially my oldest – have fallen in love with basketball. I know little to nothing about basketball except that I can recognize a few names, here and there. I find myself worried about what we’ll talk about (he and his dad can talk—and watch—basketball for hours). But your post reminded me that there are always ways in… always ways to connect. Thank you.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I love the human interest aspect of sports, Tricia. I do a lot of reading online to find the stories behind the sports to share with my son. We know so much about different athletes’ families and growing up stories because I’m a relentless Googler!

  8. Lisa Patrick Avatar
    Lisa Patrick

    I’m so grateful you’re doing the Slice challenge. Reading your writing is one of the highlights of my day!

  9. Akilah Avatar

    Aw! Your son, man. ❤️

  10. maestradl Avatar

    Beautiful ode to family, in a letter format! I like how you list all the little things that this player does to express his love and bring it back to your son’s commitment to do the same.

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