GENA KITTNER For the State Journal
When Mirin Fader set out to write a book on Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, she had no idea that the same year his book was released, he would lead his team to a national championship.
âGiannis, the unlikely rise of an NBA MVP,â tells the story of Giannis’ struggle against poverty growing up; getting into basketball in Greece as a teenager; being drafted by the Bucks in 2013; and his life now in the NBA. Fader will discuss his book at a Wisconsin Book Festival event in early November.
Q: First of all, could you tell me a bit about your background as a writer? Are you from Wisconsin?
A: I’m not from Wisconsin. I’m from LA I live there now. I got into sports writing because I was a basketball player. I’ve played my whole life and my freshman year at Lewis and Clark College. I transferred to Occidental College and quit playing and graduated in 2013. I realized I wanted to be a sports journalist. I started my career at the Orange County Register. I was there in 2013-2017. I was a freelance writer for ESPN and Bleacher Report during this time. Then I became a writer for Bleacher Report in 2018. I started at The Ringer in December 2020.
Q: How did you first decide to write about Giannis?
A: I originally did a story about Giannis and his younger brother Alex in 2019. When this story came out I thought “Maybe this could be a book.” I wanted to write a book for a very long time. To write a book, it must be both general publicâ¦ but also touch this sporting niche. Giannis, because he’s so interesting (meets both criteria). I got the case in March 2020.