Learn his name
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Milwaukee Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo (pronounced YAHN-iss Ah-deh-toh-KOON-boh), AKA "The Greek Freak," may literally break through the glass ceiling (provided it isn't vaulted).

According to a photo sent out on the Bucks official Twitter account, the 19- year-old Antetokounmpo has grown from 6-foot-9 to 6-10 and a quarter since the NBA Draft in June 2013.

And he's probably still growing.

Sportsillustrated.com's Ian Thomsen wrote in early December that a medical exam determined that Antetokounmpo has the growth plates of a 16-year-old.

Antetokounmpo, who was born in Athens, Greece and selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, wasn't a big part of the Bucks rotation in the first six weeks of the season. He averaged just 16 minutes per game in his first 16 games.

But as the losses and injuries have piled up for Milwaukee, the team has decided to unleash the freak on the NBA.

Since Dec. 11, Antetokounmpo has averaged 33 minutes, 10.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 blocks, 0.7 steals and 0.5 threes in 11 games (eight starts).

The PG-SG-SF-PF (he can play all four positions) attempted 4.5 free throws per game and made 83.7 percent during that span.

In his best game of the season Dec. 27 at Brooklyn, Antetokounmpo had 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, hit a 3-pointer and went 5-of-6 from the foul line.

In the third quarter of that game, he caught the basketball at the top of the 3-point line, dribbled to his right around a pick, burned help-defender Kevin Garnett on a drive to the basket and finished with a one-handed slam dunk to officially announce his presence to the league.

The Bucks' rotation is packed now that Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova are healthy, and coach Larry Drew needs to find a way to get minutes to O.J. Mayo, Caron Butler, Khris Middleton, John Henson, Ilyasova and Sanders as well as Antetokounmpo, but playing "The Greek Freak" seems to be a priority.

Drew benched Mayo on Dec. 20 and has played him just 23 minutes per game over the last seven contests.

Middleton averaged 42 minutes, 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in six games from Dec. 18-28, but he's joined Mayo on the bench over the last two games and played just 19 minutes per game in that stretch.

Antetokounmpo, meanwhile, has played at least 31 minutes in six consecutive games.

The youngster is still raw offensively and will have his inconsistent and frustrating moments the rest of this season, but his 7-foot-3 wingspan and huge hands will allow him to collect plenty of rebounds, steals and blocks for fantasy owners to use at the shooting guard and small forward spots.

And his name really isn't that difficult to pronounce once you give it a try.

C'mon, say it aloud with me three times.

Don't worry, even though he's already an Internet folk legend, he's not capable of appearing behind you like the Candyman ... at least I don't think so.




Good, now go impress your friends with that.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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