Dozens of participants in One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program, have been enjoying the opportunity to attend games in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup in the last few weeks.
One Team participants enjoying the best of European basketball
One Team encourages clubs to improve the lives of vulnerable young people across the continent through the power of basketball, and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens gave its One Team participants a once-in-a lifetime experience at last week’s home game against Real Madrid: the youngsters were introduced to the fans on the court during the half-time interval, and received a special presentation from EuroLeague legend and current club General Manager Dimitris Diamantidis.
Panathinaikos has been working with autistic children as part of its partnership with Special Olympics Hellas, and the club’s One Team Coach Artemis Panagi said: “Autism is not a choice, but accepting difference in others is. What if we give them wings, but society doesn’t allow them to fly?
“I hope that everyone feels as accepted by society as these athletes felt during the closing ceremony. It was a memorable experience for them. They entered the arena like pros – they were cheered by the fans for their dedication to the program and left feeling proud of who they are!”
EuroCup team Joventut de Badalona also invited its One Team participants to watch last week’s game against Slask Wroclaw. One of the guests was 15 year-old Ayoub Cherradi, who said: “I’m having a great time. I love coming to play here every Monday. I'm learning a lot of things, because I didn't know how to play basketball and now I know the rules and how to play. We have learned to have a good attitude, to respect others, not only in basketball, but much more. We have also built relationships with our teammates.”
Gorka del Corral, Joventut’s One Team Coach, added: “We have tried to teach them things about basketball that could also be useful to their personal life, like communication and respect. We wanted them to have fun but at the same time learn things related to basketball. It is a very nice experience, very enriching, because we teach them but they also teach us. One Team is very positive for the children but also for the club.”
EuroLeague playoffs candidates AX Armani Exchange Milan and AS Monaco, along with EuroCup clubs JL Bourg and Slask, have also been welcoming One Team participants to their recent games, bringing the young people closer to their clubs and providing memories to last a lifetime.
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.