To me you're more than the Greek Freak, you're my best friend & greatest person I know. But you deserve this, Giannis Antetokounmpo #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/hn9AoN9WIy
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) January 11, 2017
Giannis Antetokounmpo has done just about everything for the Milwaukee Bucks this season. After having emerging last season as one of the best young players in the league, the 22-year-old now leads all players in the NBA in scoring, and he’s emerged as an early-season MVP candidate.
Giannis’ length and quick-driving ability makes him a threat on both sides of the ball, and many teams around the league have found that out the hard way. He’s been romantically linked to Mariah Riddlesprigger, who played collegiate volleyball and interned for the NBA for two years. The two often post on their social media accounts about each other, and Mariah can be seen at many of Giannis’ games.
Here’s what you need to know about Riddlesprigger and Giannis:
1. She Played Collegiate Voleyball at Rice University
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) December 29, 2016
Riddlesprigger is originally from the Fresno, California area and went to school at Bullard High School before attending Rice University. She was a star volleyball player in high school and played on Rice’s volleyball team starting as a freshman. She was an outside hitter and was fourth on her team with 193 kills during her first season.
During her sophomore year, she recorded seven double-doubles and saw even more playing time as a junior in 2012. Riddlesprigger played in 30 matches her third season and was ranked No. 17 in the conference in digs per set.
In Riddlesprigger’s senior season, she was named the C-USA’s Defensive Player of the Week. She recorded a season high in kills with 16 in a match against LSU. In all four of her collegiate seasons, she was on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She also ran outdoor track at Rice and participated in the javelin throw and high jump.
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2. She Graduated From Rice with a Degree in Sports Management
I’m late but….Happy National Boyfriend Day to the man of my dreams 😍💛 pic.twitter.com/4uSEc6YteR
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) October 5, 2017
Riddlesprigger graduated from the university in 2014 with a degree in sports management and sociology, her LinkedIn account said. She also minored in business and was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
While she went to school at Rice, Riddlesprigger worked at the university’s athletic ticket office for two years and then pursued a career with her degree following her graduation. She worked as a basketball operations intern for the Philadelphia 76ers from May 2015 until June 2016.
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3. Riddlesprigger’s Internship Allowed Her to Network With NBA Executives
There is absolutely nothing I won't do for these two and I can promise you that! 💛🌻 pic.twitter.com/Zggp1PKaMV
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) September 16, 2017
Rice University wrote a feature story about Riddlesprigger’s experience interning in the NBA for two years. The article stated that she worked as an intern for the NBA Summer League, and she gained even more responsibility during her second year.
“The bigger responsibilities helped her gain the respect of the people around her,” Landon Michelson from Rice wrote in the article.
Some of her fondest memories from the internship were networking with professionals, she told Michelson.
“I met everybody from Mark Cuban to Rick Fox and several team presidents, general managers, ESPN executives and sports agents,” she said.
The article stated that Riddlesprigger’s eventual career goal was to work for an agency.
4. Her Father Played Basketball at Fresno State University
I love you All Star! Congratulations on being amazing and thank you so much for keeping that smile on my face babbbeee! 😘 pic.twitter.com/FbhSxvOe2S
— Mariah Danae (@mariahdanae15) January 20, 2017
Riddlesprigger was born September 17, 1992 to her parents, Pat and Cathy. She has two sisters, named Makayla and Maya. Like Mariah, they both are successful volleyball players.
four years in the making and i’m lovin the results 💍💛 pic.twitter.com/CgLTJfP1cL
— Maya Riddlesprigger (@_mayyyyaaaa) November 14, 2017
Their father was involved in collegiate athletics, too, playing basketball for Fresno State University.
Pat was listed as a 6-foot-6 forward, and he saw playing time right away as a freshman. During the 1988-89 season, he started 11 games and averaged 5.9 points. His best statistical season came his sophomore year, when he averaged 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds.
As a senior, Pat started 30 games for the Bulldogs and averaged 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds, according to Sports-Reference.com.
A 1991 Los Angeles Times article following the Big West Conference semifinal referred to Pat as a junior reserve, who saw his minutes increase when their starting center committed three quick fouls in the game. Mike DiGiovanna of The Times wrote that Pat “did a solid defensive job” on a 6-foot-10 center, holding him to only 7 points in the 87-70 victory.
Nowadays, Pat works as a co-athletic director for the Fresno Unified School District, ABC 30 News reported in 2016.
In the ABC 30 News report, Pat described why athletics should be an important part of every high school student’s experience: “Athletics has the ability to touch everyone from every background and I feel it provides students with life-long skills, ranging from learning how to work with others, how to deal with adversity, how to build character, how to be a leader, decision making, to name a few.”
Mariah’s mother, Cathy, currently works as a regional sales manager for Allstar Fire Equipment, Inc. in Fresno, her LinkedIn account said.
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5. Giannis & Mariah Live in Milwaukee & Often Post on Their Social Media Accounts About Each Other
It’s not exactly clear how or when Giannis and Mariah first met, but they’ve been in a romantic relationship for well over one year. The two live in Milwaukee together and often post about each other on their respective social media accounts.
On a few occasions, Giannis has taken Mariah to his home country of Greece and immersed her in the culture he grew up in. She also traveled to the NBA All-Star Weekend with him last year, when he was selected to be a part of the Eastern Conference team.
Sometimes after Bucks games, Giannis posts videos on his Instagram account of him hanging out with Mariah.
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