Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade continued its preparations for helping to host the Final Four by completing its ‘Win4Smile’ project as part of One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility program.
The project has been organized together with Special Olympics Serbia, and the eighth session at the city’s ‘Basket Land’ arena was attended by Zvezda’s captain and One Team Ambassador, Branko Lazic.
One of the participants, Special Olympics Serbia athlete Isidora Zivkovic, has also been invited to take part in the One Team activities which will be held in Belgrade during the Final Four, and she said: “I have enjoyed very much being part of this project and taking part in all the activities.
“Not only have my basketball skills improved, but I have also learned a lot about life – especially that there is no greater thing than being a part of a team, and best way to achieve anything is through teamwork. I am so excited that we got a chance to spend time with our One Team ambassadors, and that they got the chance to meet us, as Special Olympics athletes.”
The Win4Smile project started in March, and in addition to basketball practice part of the training focussed on an understanding of team spirit and community, as well as creative workshops that included drawing, writing and coloring.
In the final session, Lazic showed the participants the correct technique for jump shots, and after the practice he said: “I enjoyed working with the boys and girls Special Olympics Serbia and, once again, it showed how great basketball is.
“I am very pleased if the children leave the hall today as better players. But the most important thing is that they had a great time, and their smiles told us that they did.”
The program also included an invitation to attend the opening of renovated courts at the city’s Kalemegdan Fortress, the location for One Team activities during the Final Four weekend. The Special Olympics Serbia boys and girls were among the stars of the day as their shots passed through the baskets to big applause from the assembled special guests.
Aleksandar Stojanovic, director of Special Olympics Serbia, greatly values the partnership with One Team, saying: “It is difficult to explain how much these events mean to the boys and girls, and to us as an organization. Many thanks to Crvena Zvezda, with whom we have enjoyed a fantastic cooperation for a long time now. Special Olympic Serbia is happy to have such great partners who think about us and the needs of our athletes.”
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-focused projects.