Former Dayton Flyers forward Kostas Antetokounmpo could make his NBA debut in a game also featuring his brother Giannis.
The Dallas Mavericks promoted Kostas from the NBA G League’s Texas Legends on Friday, and he will be in uniform for the first time when the Mavericks play at the Milwaukee Bucks at 2 p.m. It’s one of a number of afternoon games in the NBA on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"I'm pretty excited," Antetokounmpo told Mavs.com. "It's my first time getting called up and we also got the trip to Milwaukee, so I'll get to see my family. It's going to be awesome. To see my mom and my brother in the stands, it's going to be amazing."
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Antetokounmpo arrived at Dayton as a NCAA partial qualifier in 2016 and sat out that season. He appeared in 29 games in the 2017-18 season, averaging 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds. He left school in March and was the last player chosen in the 2019 NBA Draft. He was the first Flyer drafted since Negele Knight in 1990.
Antetokounmpo signed a two-way contract with the Mavericks last summer. In the G League, he has put up better numbers than he did at Dayton. He's averaging 9.4 points and 5.7 rebounds.
“He’s been playing better of late,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told Mavs.com. “The G-League’s a hard league. The travels are challenging, it’s competitive, everybody’s fighting for the same thing, and you get to the point in December and January where you kind of get into the dog days. But one of the reasons that he’s up with us right now is that he’s fought through that sort of period. He’s really been busting his butt over the last few weeks, so that’s earned him the opportunity to be with us, so I’m happy for him for that.”
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Giannis Antetokounmpo, who at 24 is three years older than Kostas, ranks ninth in the NBA in scoring with 26.4 points per game. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he'll be excited to see his brother in Milwaukee.
“It’s going to be fun to have him around,” Giannis said. “He hasn’t seen my mom for a while now. … I think this is a good opportunity to show what he’s capable of. Hopefully in the game on Monday I can have some minutes against him.”
Kostas would become the 21st Dayton basketball alum to play in the NBA and the first to debut since Charles Cooke in 2017.
Here’s the list of Flyers who have played in the NBA: Bucky Bockhorn (1958-65); Roger Brown (1967-75); Cooke (2017-18) Johnny Davis (1976-86); Henry Finkel (1966-75); Chuck Grigsby (1954-55); Chris Harris (1955-56); Bobby Joe Hooper (1968-69); John Horan (1955-56); Chris Johnson (2012-16); Negele Knight (1990-99); Don May (1968-75); Don Meineke (1952-57); Jim Palmer (1958-61); Jim Paxson Jr. (1979-90); Jim Paxson Sr. (1956-58); Brian Roberts (2012-17); Donald Smith (1974-75); Sedric Toney (1985-90); Chris Wright (2011-14).