June 25 (UPI) -- Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo dedicated his first career MVP award to his late father, Charles, who died of a heart attack in September 2017.
Antetokounmpo, 24, averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 72 games for the Bucks last season. He is the first Greek player to win NBA MVP.
"Everyday that I step on the floor, I always think about my dad and that motivates me," Antetokounmpo said. "That pushes me to play harder and move forward."
Antetokounmpo was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Only Steve Nash, the No. 15 overall pick in 1996, won an MVP after being drafted lower.
Antetokounmpo is the third-youngest player to win MVP over the last 40 seasons, behind Derrick Rose (2010-11) and LeBron James (2008-09).
"Two years ago, I had the goal in my head that I'm going to be the best player in the league and I'm going to do whatever it takes to help my team win and I'm going to win the MVP," Antetokounmpo said.
Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee to its first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2001. The Bucks have not made the NBA Finals since 1974.
"As my dad told me, always want more, but never be greedy," Antetokounmpo said. "My goal is to win a championship and we're going to do whatever we can to make that happen."