Basketballer Giannis Antetokounmpo will not be joining the Greek national team for the June-July FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. But according to coach Thanasis Skourtotopoulos, the Milwaukee Bucks forward, also known as the ‘Greek freak’, is expected to
make an appearance in the second round of qualifiers in September.
“We are in contact with Giannis’ representatives. But now is not the right moment for his return [to the national team]. We are looking at it for September,” Skourtotopoulos said during a radio interview with Sport FM.
He went on to clarify “There is no problem with Giannis and we’re expecting him in September. He will rest to soothe his leg. It has been a very tiring season for him. He’ll get ready and will be healthy and prepared in September,” adding “And Giannis really wants to play for Greece.”
Greece is ranked well to perform at the qualifiers, currently first in Group H boasting a 4-0 record.
Set to be placed in Group L, in the next round they are likely to come up against Germany, Serbia, Georgia, and possibly Israel and Great Britain.
If in the top three, Greece will move on to play at the World Cup, while the bottom three teams go on to play in the Eurobasket qualifiers.