In life as on the basketball court, it is necessary to have various abilities, ranging from motor skills to emotional and relationship qualities. One of the main goals of this year's project for One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program, is to introduce and develop a sense of belonging and self-knowledge for the participants, giving them a greater understanding of their capacities and possibilities.
A voyage of self-discovery with Milan's One Team program
At AX Armani Exchange Milan, the One Team program is once again involving club coaches Marilisa Zanini and Alessandro Trombin, along with Laureus Italia sports psychologist Alessandra Stella. Five classes from the Arcadia Institute middle school have joined the project, and alternate on the basketball court of their school over the course of a morning.
There will be a minimum of eight meetings during the second half of the season, in which the boys and girls will experience the game of basketball but also try to look inside themselves and gain awareness of who they are and who they want to be.
In each meeting, games, videos and activities will be used to approach a specific life skill: effective relationships, effective communication, empathy, decision making, stress management, problem-solving, creative thinking and emotional management.
Basketball will be the common language for everyone on the court to reinforce life skills and a sense of team and community. Milan One Team Ambassadors Kyle Hines and Gigi Datome – along with teammates Nicolo Melli and Sergio Rodriguez and assistant coach Gianmarco Pozzecco – are providing video contributions as a way of delivering a concrete message to the children.
Using the language of sport to deal with difficulties is the first way to offer mutual support and build secure and lasting relationships, especially in a team like Milan composed of players from all over the world – just as Arcadia Institute is located in Gratosoglio, a suburban neighborhood south of Milan that contains a mixture of cultural backgrounds.
Hines expressed his belief in the importance of community as he said: "To me, the team is everything. Unity and sharing a goal is very important. A group of people is more powerful than an individual."
Datome emphasized the role of each individual within team ambitions, saying: "The most important concept that I bring to everyday life is that each individual, with his own characteristics, brings his contribution to the final achievement of the goal. This happens in every team, and I think it happens in life, too."
One Team, supported by Turkish Airlines as the One Team Founding Patron and with the collaboration of Special Olympics as Proud Partner, uses basketball to achieve real social impact in our communities.
With an innovative model of interconnectedness across an entire continent, Euroleague Basketball and its clubs have developed a complete CSR program that brings together activities from each team in an integrated, impactful way, working under a theme of "community integration" that actively addresses targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10 on Reduced Inequalities.
Each participating club develops a specific One Team project tailored to its own community needs to benefit groups in danger of exclusion due to problems such as substance abuse and gender, physical or intellectual disability. Since its founding in 2012, the One Team program has already reached, directly and indirectly, more than 23,000 participants through its various team projects.