Giannis Antetokounmpo recruits Wizards prospect to join him in Olympics

Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards
Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

During Tuesday's 117-113 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards rookie center Tristan Vukcevic took full advantage of the opportunity laid before him after starter Marvin Bagley III injured his right knee. Fortunately for Bagley and the Wizards, the injury will not require surgery.

In the meantime, Vukcevic has stepped into the starting role for Washington and has found plenty of success. In this week's Tuesday-Wednesday back-to-back, the Wizards' 21-year-old center scored a combined 29 points in 51 and a half minutes, shooting 4-of-12 from beyond the arc. Vukcevic looks comfortable on offense and hustles back on the defensive end, moving very well for a seven-footer.

Giannis calls on Vukcevic to join him in Paris this summer

His strong play early on in his NBA career caught the attention of one of the league's premier talents: Giannis Antetokounmpo. According to Monumental Sports Network's Bijan Todd, the Wizards rookie approached Antetokounmpo during the game and told the two-time MVP about his Greek nationality.

Todd asked Giannis about the exchange with Vukcevic during a postgame interview Tuesday, in which the Bucks forward said he was surprised by what Tristan had said.

"He came up to me and he said he was Greek. I was kind of surprised that he was speaking Greek to me. I looked at his last name and I was like 'er' but then, you know, I had a conversation with Thanasis. He played in Greece for a couple of years. He's thinking of joining the national team. He'd be a very good addition for us."

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Vukcevic has eligibility to play for Italy, Serbia, Greece, or Sweden in international play. According to Todd, the Wizards center was born in Italy, is Swedish-Serbian, and holds a Greek passport through his father.

Antetokounmpo went on to talk about Vukcevic's play in the game on Thursday, mentioning his high effort and his three-point shooting. Giannis said he believes the rookie center will be a big help for the Wizards going forward.

In just a few games, Vukcevic has made an impression on basketball fans in the District and his game is starting to gain traction with others around the league. In just his seventh NBA game, interim coach Brian Keefe gave Tristan the starting nod, tasking the rookie with the Lakers' four-time All-NBA center, Anthony Davis.

As the NBA regular season comes to a close, Vukcevic will have a decision to make regarding the 2024 Summer Olympics, which begin in July. However, with one of the best basketball players on the planet recruiting the young center, his decision may already be made.