Giannis Antetokounmpo goes to Fresno, meets skeptical 6th grade fan

Three-time NBA All Star Giannis Antetokounmpo visited Fresno this week, but his presence went relatively unheeded until he caught the eye of one skeptical sixth grade basketball fan.

The Milwaukee Bucks forward and guard was out for a stroll at the farmer’s market Tuesday with his girlfriend, Fresno native Mariah Riddlesprigger, when he encountered 12-year-old Cloud David Laurente, the Fresno Bee reported.

Laurente spotted Antetokounmpo — an eye-catching figure, at 6 foot 11 — and Riddlesprigger, who was wearing a Bucks jersey. He thought it was Antetokounmpo, but still, he was cautious with his excitement. He’d been burned before, you see.

“I was thinking ‘Is that Giannis?'” Laurente told the Bee. “I thought he was a fraud. Because one time when I was in Reno, I saw a guy who looked like Kevin Durant, but it wasn’t him. It was a fraud.”

“I asked my dad if that really was Giannis. He told me, yeah. My dad watches tons of NBA. So I knew he was right. And that really was Giannis.”

“I was pretty excited once I knew it really was him and he wasn’t a fraud,” he added.

The subsequent picture of Laurente, his little brother and Antetokounmpo brought together an amalgam of hashtags rarely seen together.

“Met Giannis Antetokounmpo #greekfreak #fresno #farmersmarket,” posted Laurente.

Antetokounmpo’s visit also caught the eye of the social media manager for local pizza chain Me-N-Ed’s Pizza when he fired off a series of hungry tweets earlier in the week.

“Hey @Giannis_An34, next time you’re in Fresno stop by for a pizza,” tweeted Me-N-Ed’s.

“I forgot my wallet in Milwaukee is it free lol??” replied Antetokounmpo.

Laurente said he’d seen NBA players before, but never in Fresno.

“It was random,” he said.

Filipa Ioannou is an SFGATE staff writer. Email: | Twitter: @obioannoukenobi

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