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'Rise,' the movie about Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family, will premiere on Disney+ in 2022

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel logo Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 10/20/2021 Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Rise," a new Disney movie about the trials and triumphs of the Antetokounmpo family, will debut on Disney+ in 2022. The cast includes, from left: Yetide Badaki as Vera, Ral Agada as Thanasis, Elijah Sholanke as Alexandros, Uche Agada as Giannis, Dayo Okeniyi as Charles. © Patrick Redmond/Twentieth Century Studios "Rise," a new Disney movie about the trials and triumphs of the Antetokounmpo family, will debut on Disney+ in 2022. The cast includes, from left: Yetide Badaki as Vera, Ral Agada as Thanasis, Elijah Sholanke as Alexandros, Uche Agada as Giannis, Dayo Okeniyi as Charles.

That Disney+ movie about Milwaukee Bucks star and NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, his family and their story finally has a title. 

"Rise," described by Disney as the story of "how one family's vision, determination and faith lifted them out of obscurity to launch the career of three NBA champions," will premiere on the streaming service sometime in 2022. When it was announced in 2019, the project went under the title "Greek Freak." 

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Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, of course, are on the 2021 world champion Bucks. Their brother, Kostas, was on the Los Angeles Lakers when they won the title in 2020. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo et al. standing on a court: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kostas Antetokounmpo (from left to right) talk after the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31, 2020 at STAPLES Center. It was the first time the three brothers played together in the NBA. © Los Angeles Lakers Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kostas Antetokounmpo (from left to right) talk after the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31, 2020 at STAPLES Center. It was the first time the three brothers played together in the NBA.

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The movie tells the story of the Antetokounmpo family emigrating from Nigeria to Greece, struggling to survive and battling to get Greek citizenship. When they weren't selling items to tourists on the streets of Athens with the rest of the family, the brothers sneaked off to play basketball — and discovering they had the skills and the passion for the game, worked hard to raise their game. 

Real-life brothers Uche Agada and Ral Agada will play young Giannis and Thanasis, with Jaden Osimuwa and Elijah Shomanke as their other brothers, Kostas and Alex, respectively. Dayo Okeniyi (“Emperor,” “Shades of Blue”) and Yetide Badaki (“American Gods,” “This is Us”) play their parents Charles and Vera.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis show off their Championship rings during the Milwaukee Bucks ring ceremony before the season opener vs. the Brooklyn Nets at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Tuesday. © Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis show off their Championship rings during the Milwaukee Bucks ring ceremony before the season opener vs. the Brooklyn Nets at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Among the other characters mentioned in Disney's announcement, John Hammond, the Bucks general manager who drafted Giannis, will be played by Taylor Nichols ("PEN15," "Perry Mason").  

Disney's release announcing the premiere included a statement from Giannis: "I am thrilled and honored that Disney+ is bringing my family's story to people all over the world. My hope is that it will inspire those in similar circumstances to keep the faith, stay true to their goals and not to give up on striving for a better life." 

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Contact Chris Foran at chris.foran@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cforan12.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 'Rise,' the movie about Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family, will premiere on Disney+ in 2022

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