The Disney movie “Rise” takes you on the journey of Giannis Antikonmo and his family

There are films about basketball and there are films that incorporate basketball as part of a larger story that means so much more.

Disney + Exclusive “Rise” The story of Giannis Antikonmo and his family falls into the second category.

During Giannis’ rapid rise to stardom, fans around the world came to know the Antetokounmpo family, with Giannis and his brothers Thanassis, Costas and Alex making names for themselves as professional basketball players in the United States, while their older brother Francis reached the professional level as a soccer player.

For the better part of the past decade, we’ve learned the name Antetokounmpo, but “Rise” gives viewers a chance to learn their story. Before any character appears on screen, viewers are taught that the original spelling of Antetokunmpo is, in fact, “Adetokunbo”, a Yoruba surname meaning “Return of the King from Overseas”.

The meaning of the family name could not be more appropriate, as their flight is part of their property.

While four of the five Antetokounmpo brothers were born in Greece, they were born of Vera (Yetide Badaki) and Charles (Dayo Okeniyi), who immigrated to Greece from Nigeria in order to make a better life for themselves and their children.

Subscribe now to watch “The Rise” on Disney +

Through the heads of families, ‘Rise’ shows the ways in which the Nigerian roots of the family serve as their foundation, along with these elements with the Greek culture they embraced while growing up in the Sepolia neighborhood of Athens.

During a focal point in the film, Thanassis tells the family that “when one person in the family scores, we all score,” a mindset that could be a fitting catchphrase for the movie as a whole. Through struggle and sacrifice came victory and achievement, all because of the family first attitude instilled in their parents.

The family elements of the movie couldn’t be stronger, as Thanassis and Giannis were portrayed by real-life brothers Ral and Osh Agada, both of whom made their debut in “Rise”.

Based on their performance, you wouldn’t be able to tell that they were the first time.

Ahead of the film’s release on Disney+, The Sporting News spoke with the Agada brothers, whose real-life chemistry shines both on screen and in everyday life.

“I think one of the biggest things to get out of (the movie) is to keep these people — in this case, your family — these good people, close to you,” Uchi Agada told SN.

Echoing the same sentiments, Ral Agada explained that the strength of the Antetokounmpo family prepared both Giannis and Thanasis for their great breaks, stating that “luck is when preparations meet opportunity.”

This can be said for the Agada brothers, who took a break after Uchi answered a casting call he saw, which was a screenshot of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Instagram post, posted on Twitter.

After a few callbacks, Uchi got the part of Giannis and asked if he had any other siblings, paving the way for his older brother Ral to audition for the part of Thanasis. Being real brothers adds to the real sense of the interactions that take place between them and their other family members during the film.

“For this part, there is no acting,” Rall Agada said. “We’ll do the brotherly thing we always do.”

It’s these interactions that build the story and make Disney’s adaptation of the Antetokounmpo family as easy as their real-life counterparts.

Of course, there is basketball, and the Ogada brothers have a background in the game. Both Uchi, who is 6-foot-5, and Ral, who is 6-foot-1, have a history in the game going back to their younger years, and it’s no secret that they know what they’re doing on the ground.

“Rise” not only shares the Antetokounmpo family’s journey but also takes you on the journey, from Nigeria to Turkey to Greece to the United States, where Thanassis honors Prince Akim in Coming to America.

The film culminates in one of the accomplishments of the family, but as their stories continue to be written, it also generates excitement for what’s coming in their own lives.

As for the Ogada brothers, after their first taste in acting, both expressed that they found a passion, which made them eager to return in front of the camera to continue their careers in this field.

It may not be long before preparation meets once again the opportunity of the Ugada duo.

You can stream Disney’s “Rise” exclusively on Disney+ starting Friday, June 24. Streaming options start at $7.99 per month.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: