Another fantastic season for One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility initiative, is being celebrated with the launch of the Best One Team Programme Award.
From now onwards this will be an annual award to recognise clubs who have delivered particularly strong One Team activities.
The winner will need to have demonstrated clear planning, delivery of drills against set objectives, the involvement of One Team Ambassadors, and excellent marketing and communications activity.
Abi Martin, Head of Euroleague Basketball's CSR & Development Projects, said: "From Spain to Turkey, from Russia to Greece, clubs have once again been working tirelessly all across Europe this season to help those in our communities who are at risk of exclusion.
"Of course want to thank each and every person that has been involved in One Team, but we feel it is appropriate and exciting to recognise the very best examples of how we are integrating communities through the power of basketball by introducing this award."
Selecting the winner will be a difficult task, but a shortlist from the participating teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup can now be revealed, with the following clubs in contention for the new honour: Anadolu Efes Istanbul, FC Barcelona Lassa, Real Madrid, Valencia Basket and Zalgiris Kaunas.
These clubs have been highlighted for a number of reasons.
• Anadolu Efes Istanbul worked incredibly closely with their community partner to understand the needs of a complex group of participants, children in need of support and protection, thereby ensuring that the programme is designed to benefit this group as much as possible. The club also delivered a very high level of social media content.
• FC Barcelona Lassa enrolled Magette Niang, a player from the club's women's team, as a One Team Ambassador alongside their existing Ambassador, Aleksandar Vezenkov, to help an amateur wheelchair basketball team. They also created a mentor programme to provide additional support to the participants of One Team sessions.
• Real Madrid not only took One Team to participants in nine schools, but used Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games and player involvement in an excellent way for the benefit of children with disabilities. For example, they ensured that all the schools attended at least one game, participating in One Team activities during halftime.
• Valencia Basket focused on developing a network with powerful social media content. They demonstrated what is possible if all available channels are used to spread the One Team message, leaving Valencia fans in no doubt about the positive role their club plays in the local community promoting wellness and inclusion for marginalized teenagers.
• Zalgiris Kaunas used its experience over four years of participation in One Team to start working with young people from a juvenile prison in a great example of building upon what had already been achieved to ensure more lives are impacted by the programme.
Further judging will take place over the summer and the winner will be announced at the One Team Annual Workshop in September.