You may have heard of the first round draft pick, six-time All-Star, two-time MVP, NBA Champion, Greek-Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo and all his accolades. But his family’s story and ability to rise to the above surpasses all his accomplishments… combined. 

If there’s one thing Disney does best, it’s telling a heartwarming story where the audience can follow the “hero’s journey” and Rise is just that.

Rise tells the incredibly humbling story of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s family as they fight to stick together from country to country, fighting deportation, poverty, and keeping the will to put faith first.

“Where we started from and where we at right now. And everybody talks about us, about me… but they always leave out our parents you know, my dad and my mom,” says Giannis, and that carries this movie. Charles and Veronica Antetokounmpo, played by Yetide Badaki & Dayo Okeniyi in the film, instill the core values of the family: “be faithful, be humble, be disciplined, and have faith in anything you do… never lose hope,” words that Veronica echos during the press junket. 

First time actors and real life brothers Uche Agada and Ral Agada play Giannis and Thanasis. While at times the undeveloped acting muscle doesn’t allow them to press certain scenes up, the chemistry between the brothers shines bright and warms the souls in scenes that can’t be taught or rehearsed. 

Director Akin Omotoso delivered with Rise by telling a visual story with a lot of moving shots. You feel like you are right next to this family as they dodge police, hustle to make ends meet, and provide for their four kids.

“I remember reading, you know, reading up a story and I was like, ‘If ever I was to make a film about basketball and life, it’ll be this gentleman’s story,'” said Omotoso humbly in the press junket. And he did just that. Rise is more than a basketball movie. It’s a movie of a family’s dream. An American Dream. 

Rise is a great film for you and the family to turn on at home and enjoy on a nice summer night. It’s more than Giannis, it’s family. 

You can stream Rise now on Disney+.

Keep Reading: