Greek professional basketball player Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo has explained the reason he wore an Tie-Dye (ADIRE) material to the 2022 NBA All-Star Game in the early hours of Monday, February 21, 2022.
Giannis Antetokoumpo explains the reason for wearing 'ADIRE' material to All-Star Game
According to Giannis, representing Nigerian heritage is a source of pride
Giannis was born in Greece to Nigerian parents who raised him with the culture. Despite not setting foot in Nigeria, Giannis is proud of his Nigerian heritage.
The Adire material Giannis wore to the All-Star game was based on a partnership with American freeware, cross-platform centralized instant messaging and voice-over-IP service known as WhatsApp Messenger.
The move was to announce that Giannis is the first global ambassador for WhatsApp Messenger.
Giannis took to his official Twitter account to explain his outfit representing Nigeria.
The 27-year-old NBA superstar quoted a tweet with a video explaining the process involved in creating the Tie and Dye fabric.
The message said, "I got to rep my Nigerian heritage with pride yesterday as a #WhatsAppPartner 😁. That’s my name in Yoruba, “Adetokunbo,” and the Nigerian calling code +234 that my family uses every day to connect with each other.
"The design was handmade in Nigeria by the great @postimperial. Shoutout @WhatsApp for making this happen."
In the video, Niyi Okuboyejo a Nigerian-American designer who owns the fashion label Post-Imperial detailed the process of creating the outfit with green to represent the country.
He also revealed that the number 2 was added to Giannis' number 34 jersey to get the +234 which is the country code of Nigeria.
In the video, he said, “Adire dyeing is a form of storytelling for Nigerians.
“If you have ever been to Nigeria, you understand that we move and communicate via WhatsApp. As a Nigerian-American designer, it was an incredible honor to collaborate with Giannis and WhatsApp.
"Giannis represents a pinnacle of excellence in our community and our commitment to thrive. The hoodie is an ode to our Nigerian roots, inspired by the Nigerian flag. This was a collaboration between myself, Giannis, local Nigerian dye artisans and Nigerian tailors, all connected through WhatsApp.”
Giannis is a two-time NBA regular season MVP and has also won the Defensive Player of the Year accolade.
He led the Milwaukee Bucks to win the 2021 NBA title, was crowned Finals MVP and has recently been included in the greatest 75 players in the history of the sport.