"Developing Teamwork" is this season's theme for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv's social responsibility programme One Team, and a group of teenagers have been directly benefitting from the club's efforts to support its local community.
Maccabi is working with the Ayanot Youth Village, an educational centre 20 kilometres outside Tel Aviv with its own values, learning culture and recreational activities.
The Ayanot community emphasises tolerance, equality and social involvement, aspiring for each pupil to realise their potential, both individually and in their contribution to society.
Maccabi is working regularly with a group of 14- to 18-year-olds at Ayanot during a 12-week period, encouraging the youths to pursue their dreams by improving their education, supporting their social and educational environment and developing the tools to make the right choices in life.
The programme is being assisted by the team's long-serving forward and One Team ambassador Devin Smith, who is delighted to play his part and said: "As Maccabi players, we feel a sense of responsibility to the local community which always gives us so much support.
"Basketball is more than just a game and I am proud that the club makes such a big commitment to making people's lives better."
As part of the programme, One Team participants from Ayanot put their lessons into practice by making a special visit to the Schneider children's cancer hospital in Petah Tikva, a town just outside Tel Aviv, during the recent holiday season.
The teenagers joined Maccabi's players and sponsors on their annual visit to the hospital's wards, where they handed out gifts, posed for pictures and talked with the young patients and their families.
As well as providing some much-needed cheer for the patients, the hospital visit also encouraged the One Team participants to use the life skills they have been learning in their weekly sessions to support others in need.
Maccabi's Sporting Director Nikola Vujcic, who is also a Euroleague Basketball Ambassador, is a keen supporter of the club's work both with Ayanot and during Euroleague Basketball's annual One Team week in November.
The former Euroleague champion is delighted with the consistent growth of the programme, saying: "This is my fifth year with One Team, and every year there have been different groups but with each of them you see how much they want to participate.
"That shows the wide impact that One Team and EuroLeague are having on society. They are helping people not only here in Tel Aviv, but all over Europe and beyond."
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.
Since its founding in 2012, the One Team programme has reached already directly and indirectly 12,000 participants through its various team projects.