Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Greek basketball player who lines up for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. He started playing basketball in Athens before entering the NBA draft in 2013. The Bucks picked him 15th overall. Giannis’ skill, size, and speed earned him the name ‘Greek Freak’ shortly after he joined the NBA.
Giannis was voted the NBA Most Valuable Player in June 2019. Giannis’ impressive performances on the court can be attributed to his incredible physique, and the support of his number one fan and partner, Mariah Danae Riddlesprigger. Maria is almost always courtside cheering on Giannis.
This article will look at Maria Danae’s background and her family.
She has the volleyball captain and MVP during her senior year in high school
Maria Danae was born on 17th September 1992 to Catherine and Patrick Riddlesprigger. She grew up alongside two sisters in Fresno, California. Maria’s mom was a teacher while her dad was a former basketball player. Patrick lined up for the Fresno State University basketball team in the early 90s.
Danae started playing volleyball during her high school days at Bullard High School in Fresno. She continued playing the sport after she joined Rice University in Houston. She was quite good at volleyball, and she was awarded the position of team captain. Danae was also the MVP in her senior year.
Giannis paid a tribute to Danae’s playing days in college when he wore shoes with her jersey number during the January 21st game between the Bucks and the Bulls. Giannis scored his 10000th career point in that game, and according to him, it was all thanks to the Danae-inspired shoes.
Maria’s passion for sports extended to her studies, and she graduated from Rice University in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She also worked at the Rice University ticket office for two years. After graduation, Maria earned two internships with the NBA. She worked with the Philadelphia 76ers basketball operations between May 2015 and June 2016.
Her second internship was with the summer league. It was more intensive that her work with the 76ers, but it gave her better opportunities to grow her career.
Mariah and Giannis welcomed their first child Liam Charles on February 10th 2020
It is unclear how Giannis and Maria met, but we can tell from social media that they have been together for about three years. The couple announced that they were expecting a child in mid-2019. Giannis stated the following about the baby;
“I think for a little guy that’s not even here yet, (it) makes you more mature. A lot of people say I’m mature for my age, but I think that changes you a lot, but I’m happy about it. I’m excited about it. He’s not here yet. I can’t wait until he’s here.”
The couple welcomed their baby boy, Liam Charles, to the world on 10th February 2020. Giannis posted the news via a tweet posted on 10th February. He had previously posted a video on TikTok after Mariah went into labor, and he looked pretty excited at the prospect of being a father.
Mariah claims to have grown as a mother as she awaits the birth of the couple’s second child
“My son is my purpose,” Mariah began a 13th May 2021 Instagram post. She wrote that motherhood had made her discover more about herself. Mariah credited Liam for teaching her ‘more about patience, perseverance, and passion in these past 15 months than I have ever known.’
She stated that a year back, she was struggling with feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. However, one year on, she has worked on herself and is looking forward to welcoming the couple’s second child. Mariah wrote:
“I worked on myself and promised myself I would get better for me and my family! One year ago marks one of the toughest times of my life and today I am celebrating GROWTH! I am accomplishing my dreams and raising some babies along the way! Liam and Baby #2, thank you for giving me purpose!”
Mariah told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the family is excited to welcome another baby. She speculated that Liam would be a good big brother due to how he ‘lights up’ around children. As she congratulated Giannis for becoming an NBA Champion, Mariah expressed her desire to welcome the couple’s second child soon:
“Nobody truly knows the work you have put in and the obstacles you had to overcome, but to see part of your journey up close has been such a blessing! I AM SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU BABY! You are a NBA CHAMPION and nobody can take that from you! I love all that you are, now let’s go have this baby.”
Danae credits Giannis for pushing her out of her comfort zone
On 12th May 2021, Mariah posted an Instagram photo of herself and Giannis and, in the caption, referred to him as ‘MY INSPIRATION.’ She credited Giannis for pushing her to launch a project titled Sincerely, Mariah.
She wrote that Giannis called her out for failing to complete any of the projects she’d started. The words hurt, Mariah conceded, but they also stunned her into action. Danae explained:
“His words resonated with me and they’re the reason I did not give up when I was tired, or when I got bored or wrapped up in motherhood and my personal issues. Anytime I wanted to wave the white flag I imagined this thick lovable accent challenging me to be the best version of myself. Giannis, thank you for believing in me, inspiring me and simply being you!”
The Sincerely, Mariah brand has proved to be popular with fans. Of the six products on offer, four are already sold out. We expect Mariah to start updating the site’s blog soon. The website’s about page reads:
“Hello, Beautiful People! My name is Mariah. I created this brand to remind each and every one of you how exceptionally unique you are! My goal is to provide a product that discourages self-doubt and shouts that you are worthy! I hope that this brand serves as a constant reminder to embrace who you are, unapologetically!”