Meeting Giannis Antetokounmpo on a memorial.

A few years back, I attended the saddest basketball match I have ever been to. A childhood friend of mine had an accident and didn’t make it. He was a good guy and decent basketball player, and symptomatically a teammate of him also died around this period. So their team decided to organize a friendly game as a tribute to their memory.

The stadium was full and they started to play a video with my friend’s and his teammate’s basketball and personal moments. I never had heard so many and so loud cryings before. And back then I didn’t know which that team was. Until I saw Giannis Antetokounmpo, showing up on the court, carried the ball for the jump-ball. He came to give tribute to his former teammates too. I didn’t consider myself a fan back then, of him or the game. But seeing him and felt his vibe gave me goosebumps.

In this world where uncertainties are not lacking and many people believe that in order to succeed they must step on others, he succeeded by staying focused on his goal while also being humble. The feelings I felt cannot be limited to the altar of national pride, which is a matter of luck in the end. But the pride lies in the fact that one of my fellow human beings started with so little and achieved so much, and the road is not over yet. When we see their efforts as fans of the game we tend to overlook what they have already done and focus on what they are missing.

Sometimes when you try hard and do not see progress as fast as you would like, it’s better to take a step back, not the James harden one. To think where you were have been a year before or two or five or ten.

And ask yourself.. Do I fear the dark or the light?

For me, it’s the light I think because it’s so much harder to stay in there

Another favorite player of mine, which happens to be one of the most polarizing players ever, said once’’ I made it from the streets to NBA, I am already a champion.’’

So, what makes YOY a champion?

May we have a healthy and exciting series#NBA2021Finals

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