One Team program took the center stage at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague FanZone once again with the One Team Session & Ambassadors Unified Tournament at Savski Square in the Serbian capital.
One Team Session & Ambassadors Unified Tournament
Friday afternoon in Belgrade with a One Team event that brought to the same basketball court young participants from local One Team programs together with a host of famous names serving as Final Four Ambassadors.
Joe Arlauckas, Ramunas Siskauskas, Matjaz Smodis, Ibrahim Kutluay, Dusko Savanovic, David Rivers, Dejan Tomasevic, Igor Rakocevic and Patrick Femerling met two dozen participants of the Partizan NIS and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade One Team programs at the FanZone's main court.
Together they celebrated the great positive impact that One Team is having in local Euroleague communities by participating in a typical One Team activity that encourages teamwork, commitment and decision-making, before running a Unified Tournament with inclusive rules, all in celebration of One Team's 10th anniversary.
"I'm really happy to be here again after a three-year break. Those activities are very important for all the community, all the kids, and everybody," Siskauskas said. "I hope this will continue another 10, then 20 years. A long time."
Filled with laughter, smiles and the occasional scream of joy, it was one of those special events that leaves a lasting impact on the lives of young people.
An exciting weekend of festivities in the Serbian capital continued on
"I think it shows unity, especially in situations and times like this, when it's very important to include anybody and everybody in activities like this to show togetherness," Femerling said. "I think that's the most important part. It's just fun. The kids had fun. We had fun. Nobody got a sunburn, so everything is perfect. If it wouldn't have been so hot, we would have played for another hour."
It was also a chance for youngsters from Special Olympics Serbia and care center Jovan Jovanovic ZMAJ along with the Final Four Ambassadors to showcase hundreds of fans in attendance what a typical One Team session looks like.
"The name says it all: One Team. Everybody is united here," Savanovic said. "You're joining a lot of ex-basketball players, the legends, with the kids, with the people who love the sport, with the volunteers, who really help, they make 50% of the success of every tournament, especially this Final Four in Belgrade. So, the message is positive, sharing good thoughts. The city lives and breathes basketball."
This season One Team, celebrates its 10th anniversary, a celebration supported by all the clubs and players from both the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup.
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.