With the Bucks’ success on the court, the team is gaining support from fans all around the globe.
And it takes a special dedication being a Bucks fan abroad.
“Game 7 [against the Nets] started at 2:30 a.m. here in France, finishing at almost 6 [a.m.], said Hugo Givernaud, a Bucks fan who lives in the suburbs of Paris. “Now that I’m working, it’s way more difficult [to stay up]. It’s easier trying to wake up maybe one hour earlier than usual and try to watch the game on the NBA League Pass.”
Hugo’s Bucks fandom started when he chose to study abroad in Milwaukee a few years ago.
“I was looking for a place where I can follow NBA basketball and NCAA basketball,” he said. “Looking at the partner universities at my school, Marquette was the best fit.”
And it didn’t take long for Hugo to be welcomed to the city.
“The first game I covered as a journalist was the game the day after the Paris attacks,” he said. “I was there with my French flag, and everyone with the Bucks had kind words.”
It was just a few years ago that Bucks fans in Europe were few and far between, but that all changed with a winning culture, and of course having one of the game’s biggest superstars in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“The Paris game was kind of an exclamation point,” Hugo said of the team’s popularity. “Now I’m not alone. In the beginning we were really few.”
Hugo also serves as one of the leading voices supporting the Bucks in France. He runs the Bucks France Twitter account, which has over 20,000 followers.
Though he wasn’t living in Milwaukee for the unveiling of Fiserv Forum and the Deer District, Hugo says making a return to the Brew City is a top priority.
“I would love to be there,” he said, admitting he’s a bit jealous of the raucous crowds seen on gameday. “The year I was there was the last one without the playoffs. I definitely have to go back to Milwaukee to see the Deer District, to see Fiserv Forum. Even if it’s empty, just to feel that energy. I would really love to be a part of it.”
Even though Hugo is watching games 4,000 miles away, like many other Bucks fans, he’s ready to see the team capture that elusive championship.