James Augustine is playing a key role in Unicaja Malaga’s fifth consecutive season of working together with its social partner Proyecto Hombre, as part of One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program.
Proyecto Hombre was established in Malaga in 1985 to provide treatment and rehabilitation from drugs and other addictions, and Unicaja is working with a diverse group of 19-60 year-olds from the center over an eight-week period between November and January.
The sessions are focusing on using basketball to find ways to motivate and encourage the participants by integrating them into the activities of the club, as well as planning social events which are also open to friends and family.
As Unicaja’s One Team Ambassador, big man Augustine is actively involved in making the program a success, and he attended last week’s session at the club’s Los Guindos practice facility.
The goal of this session was encouraging the desire to improve yourself as a person and helping others who are facing difficult situations, and Augustine described to the participants his personal background and the off-court benefits that basketball has given him.
The experienced American center, who joined Unicaja this summer from CSKA Moscow, said: “Basketball has added so much to my life, not only on the court but also the values of the sport which can be used in any situation.
“The One Team program does a great job of using lessons from basketball to inspire and motivate people who need help in our communities, and I am very happy to give my support to Unicaja’s work with Proyecto Hombre.
“I hope the work we are carrying out over the next few weeks will help boost the self-esteem of the participants, and allow them to feel more integrated in society.”
A new initiative for this season’s program at Unicaja is the introduction of a weekly MVP award, which will see the club’s One Team coaches select the participant who has been most engaged during the session.
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 meaningful social impact in our communities across Europe and is supported by every club in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup.
Since its founding in 2012, the One Team program has already helped more than 14,000 participants through its various team-focussed projects.