Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek and Nigerian professional basketball player, currently on the Milwaukee Bucks roster, is set to go head-to-head with James Harden in one of the biggest games of the season. On Wednesday night, the Bucks will take on the Rockets and “The Greek Freak” will face “The Beard” in an epic MVP battle.
While all eyes have been on Antetokounmpo on the court, fans have also been curious to learn about his private life. He has been dating Mariah Riddlesprigger, who played collegiate volleyball and interned for the NBA, for more than two years. Riddlesprigger is often seen hanging out at Bucks games, cheering on her man.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Played Collegiate Volleyball at Rice University
Riddlesprigger is originally from the Fresno, California, area and attended Bullard High School before enrolling at 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; she 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 year, she was named the Conference-USA’s Defensive Player of the Week. She recorded a season-high 16 kills in a match. 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.
2. She Has a Degree in Sports Management
Riddlesprigger graduated from Rice University in 2014, with a degree in sports management and sociology, according to her LinkedIn page. She also minored in business and was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
While attending Rice, Riddlesprigger worked at the university’s athletic ticket office for two years and then pursued a career with her degree following graduation.
After college, she worked as a basketball operations intern for the Philadelphia 76ers from May 2015 until June 2016.
Her LinkedIn page hasn’t been updated since and her current position is unknown.
3. Her Internship Allowed Her to Network With NBA Executives
Rice University wrote a feature story about Riddlesprigger’s experience interning in the NBA for two years. The article stated that Riddlesprigger 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 wrote in the article.
Some of Riddlesprigger’s 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
Their father was involved in collegiate athletics, too, playing basketball for Fresno State University.
Pat Riddlesprigger 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 Riddlesprigger 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 semi-final referred to Pat Riddlesprigger 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 Riddlesprigger works as a co-athletic director for the Fresno Unified School District, ABC 30 News reported in 2016.
In that same report, Pat Riddlesprigger 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,” he said.
Mariah’s mother, Cathy, currently works as a regional sales manager for Allstar Fire Equipment, Inc. in Fresno, according to her LinkedIn page.
5. Both She & Antetokounmpo Live in Milwaukee & Often Post About Each Other on Their Social Media Accounts
It’s not exactly clear how or when Antetokounmpo and Riddlesprigger first met, but they’ve been in a romantic relationship for more than two years now. The couple lives in Milwaukee together and often posts about each other on their respective social media accounts. While Riddlesprigger has a public-facing Twitter account, her Instagram account is private.
On a few occasions, Antetokounmpo has taken Riddlesprigger to his home country of Greece and immersed her in the culture that he grew up in.
In 2016, she was in attendance at the NBA All-Star Weekend when he was selected to be a part of the Eastern Conference team.
The two seem to love to travel together, as evidenced by this series of pictures posted by Antetokoumpo last month.
In recent months, Antetokounmpo’s Instagram has been filled with more basketball-centric photos, but he still shares some sweet moments of his girlfriend.