Final Jeopardy includes a reference to Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo

Milwaukee Bucks fans were surely screaming “Greece!” on their televisions on Tuesday night when Final Jeopardy played out. Behind the scenes, so was nominee Nicky Smith, a Milwaukee native and avid Bucks fan who missed out on what would have been a made-to-measure opportunity.

“Peril!” brought an NBA twist to his latest question, and Bucks franchise star Giannis Antetokounmpo was the focus of the closest to the popular game show, featured with the ‘African surnames’ category.

Final Jeopardy asks about the Adetokunbo family leaving Nigeria for this country

The reply read: “Adetokunbo, ‘the crown returned from overseas’, suits the Adetokunbo family who moved from Nigeria to this country in 1991.”

As host Ken Jennings put it, it was a “sports clue in disguise.”

We all know the story of how the family moved to Greece, where Giannis was born in 1994. Today, of course, he is the cornerstone of the franchise that led the Bucks to the 2021 NBA Championship, with the opportunity for another run as the playoffs continue.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo Superfan Nicky Smith Wasn’t There For Final Jeopardy

Only one of the contestants knew the benchmark, although only two of the three played Final Jeopardy, with Smith being dropped from the final round due to a negative score after the first two rounds of play (-$800).

It was a pretty big disappointment for Smith, who happens to be a Marquette University high school graduate, a huge Giannis fan, and even briefly spent time as a ball boy with the organization. Smith, who uses the pronoun they, now lives in San Francisco, where they moved to complete their doctorates, and their mother still lives in Cedarburg.

“My brother and our collective partners hate Giannis because, ‘That’s all you talk about, why don’t you marry Giannis?’ Smith said in a moment of levity after the show before looking directly at the camera, “Giannis, I’m sorry. Please can you put it on YouTube. I love you Giannis, stay with Milwaukee forever. You are our king.”

Smith said the speech was cut quite dramatically and was part of Giannis’ “literally three minute facts” that they recited to everyone on set.

Jennings joked, “The day one of his stalkers was on the show…we didn’t see you show up.”

Smith, 35, attended a number of Bucks-Warriors games and even wore Giannis Greek Freak Zoom 1s while taping. Apparently the contestants were told no one could see their feet on the podium, so Smith felt free to support the No. 34.

Smith just wasn’t around for the show’s Giannis moment.

“My only strategy was to be there for Final Jeopardy,” Smith said, adding that the circumstances reminded him of a paraphrased quote he read from Mike Tyson. “Everyone has a strategy until you get hit in the face.”

Mattea Roach guesses the wrong answer, but wins ‘Jeopardy!’ for the 16th time

Defending champion Mattea Roach, who answered the final question with a decisive lead, didn’t know the answer (she guessed the UK), but she easily won the night for her 16th consecutive victory.

Behind the scenes, Smith lamented the wild misfortune of a Giannis question featured on Final Jeopardy, though they thought they would have written “Giannis Antetokounmpo” instead of “Greece” at the time of the joy.

Cultural Strategist Reya Sehgal Correctly Answers Final Jeopardy Question

Brooklyn-based cultural strategist and performer Reya Sehgal knew the answer, doubling down on her $5,000 with a $4,900 bet. But his $9,900 was still well below Roach’s final total of $16,200.

Milwaukee native Nicky Smith, right, poses with

Antetokounmpo was granted Greek citizenship in 2013, just days before he left for the United States ahead of the NBA draft. His passport transliterates the name Adetokumbo into the spelling used in the United States, Antetokounmpo.

Roach will retain his crown, and Giannis is now looking to add another with Game 5 of his first-round playoff series against Chicago on Wednesday.

JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.

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