Kostas Antetokounmpo could be a game-changer for Dayton Flyers basketball — when he gets on the court.
The redshirt freshman from Athens, Greece, suffered a leg injury Monday while playing for the Greek U-20 national team, and his status for the 2017-18 college season is unknown.
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Here are five things to know about Antetokounmpo:
1. The 6-foot-10, 190-pound Antetokounmpo was a major recruit when he signed with the Flyers in 2016.
247Sports rated him the No. 53 player in the class of 2016 and the only four-star prospect signed by Archie Miller.
2. Antetokounmpo was an all-state performer at Dominican High School in Milwaukee, Wisc.
He averaged 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting .639 (147-230) from the floor as a senior when Dominican won its fifth straight state championship.
3. He has three brothers who are also talented basketball players.
Giannis is a 22-year-old forward for the Milwaukee Bucks who averaged 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.6 steals per game last season, when he made his first NBA All-Star team. He was also named the league’s most improved player and earned a spot on the All-NBA second team and the all-defense second team.
Thanasis is a 6-7 forward who will turn 25 on July 18. After playing in Spain last season (and the NBA D League before that), he signed a two-year contract with Panathinaikos in the Euroleague on Tuesday.
Alex will be a sophomore at Dominican this fall.
“Obviously, his brother is in the league and he has a lot of popularity because of his brother, but he wants popularity of his own,” fellow UD 2016 signee Trey Landers said of Kostas in March. “I just think next year when he’s able to unleash what he’s got built in right now, it’s going to be crazy.”
4. He sat out last season as an NCAA partial qualifier.
Excitement over Dayton’s signing of Antetokounmpo were tempered before last season began when it was announced he would not be edible to play, but he was able to practice in late December.
Then-assistant coach Tom Ostrom said in March that Antetokounmpo had picked up the UD offense well and shown great instincts on defense.
“He can really move his feet. He has a knack for blocking shots. Guys will go up for layups and have their man beat, and Kostas will come out of the blue from the weak side to block the shot into the wall. All the coaches look at each other: ‘Where did he come from?’ He’s working really hard on his jump shot. He’s got to get his base strong, his legs stronger for the physicality of the game.”
5. Antetokounmpo is regarded as having a unique skill set.
Landers called his classmate a guard despite having the height generally possessed by a forward or center, and another teammate said his game resembles the one possessed by his brother in the NBA
“He’s going to be great for our team,” point guard John Crosby said. “He’s got a lot of length. He’s somebody who can protect the rim. He can do a lot of different things. He can do probably whatever coach asks him. He’s going to be physically able to do it.”
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6. Anthony Grant has already seen great potential in Antetokounmpo.
The new coach of the Flyers had great things to say about the youngster in a recent interview with the Dayton Daily News.
“Physically, you want to see him continue to develop, but you can’t teach (6-10) and the way he moves and jumps,” Grant said. “He’s a really good teammate. He really wants to be a good player. He wants the team to do well. Those are all good places to start.
“This is a huge summer for him. When you think about it, the last time he played organized basketball was two years ago. You want to see him put it all together. He’s got a lot of potential.”
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