One of the reasons for the success of One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program, is the wholehearted support shown by players towards the community-based activities.
Datome, Melli and Hines highlight players' One Team role
More than 300 players have acted as One Team Ambassadors since the program's launch in 2012, with the role of players highlighted by the current involvement of three star players at AX Armani Exchange Milan.
Luigi Datome and Kyle Hines are the current One Team Ambassadors for the Italian club, while Nicolo Melli had the role with the club previously. Kyle Hines – who has been actively involved with the project from the beginning – is the One Team Global Ambassador.
Explaining why he supports One Team, Datome said: "I think it's a great program to make kids play sport, which is very important, to make them socialize. And it's a way for us to give back to the community where you are. I believe a lot in this program."
Hines explained how the power of basketball can be harnessed to effect social change, saying: "It doesn't matter if you're from a different language, culture or background, all of us can come together and use sports as a common ground to help learn life skills and important life lessons."
And Melli highlighted the simple but important idea that players can bring happiness to the participants simply by giving some of their time, saying: "There are so many different situations going on around us, plus with Covid everything got worse. So we can bring a little sparkle, a little joy."
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 the 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 reached already directly and indirectly more than 23,000 participants through its various team projects.