Rise: The true story of remarkable Antetokounmpo basketball brothers to premiere on ESPN

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Ral Agada as Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Dayo Okeniyi as Charles Antetokounmpo, and Uche Agada as Giannis Antetokounmpo in Rise.
Ral Agada as Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Dayo Okeniyi as Charles Antetokounmpo, and Uche Agada as Giannis Antetokounmpo in Rise.
Photo: Patrick Redmond/Disney
  • ESPN Africa announced that the Disney+ original film Rise is coming to DStv.
  • The film is based on the triumphant true-life story of the Antetokounmpo basketball brothers.
  • Rise will air on ESPN (DStv 218, Starsat 248) on Monday, 1 August.


ESPN Africa announced that the Disney+ original film Rise will have its linear premiere across the continent on ESPN (DStv218, Starsat 248).

The film is based on the triumphant true-life story of the remarkable family that produced the first trio of brothers to become NBA champions in the league's history - Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and former Los Angeles Laker Kostas Antetokounmpo.

REVIEW | Disney Original Rise is an inspiring true-life drama 

In an interview with Channel24, director Akin Omotoso revealed the dream of telling this story began with Michael Jordan.

As his love for the sport grew, he became interested in finding out if there were any African players and became obsessed with all the African players in the NBA and their journey.

"When Giannis was drafted in 2013, I was like, if I ever made a movie, this is the gentleman's life I would like to tell because it speaks about more than basketball."

READ MORE | Akin Omotoso dreamed of telling this real-life story for eight years

In the powerful, uplifting film, viewers will witness how one family's vision, determination and faith lifted them out of obscurity to launch the career of two-time MVP Giannis and his brothers, Thanasis and Kostas. 

Newcomers Uche Agada and Ral Agada - real-life brothers - portray young Giannis and Thanasis, with Jaden Osimuwa and Elijah Sholanke as their younger two brothers, Kostas and Alexandros, respectively. Dayo Okeniyi (Shades of Blue) and Yetide Badaki (This Is Us) play their parents, Charles and Veronica, with Manish Dayal as Giannis' tenacious agent, Kevin Stefanides, and Taylor Nichols as John Hammond, general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Rise premieres on ESPN (DStv218, Starsat 248) on Monday, 1 August at 20:00. Repeats will air on the channel on 2, 8 and 9 August. 


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