A special event at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall on Wednesday morning tipped off the Final Four weekend for One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program.
The volunteers who will make sure all the Final Four events scheduled over the course of the next few days run smoothly were treated to a special welcome from Euroleague Basketball Ambassadors Joe Arlauckas and Dusko Savanovic.
Local players Branko Lazic and Ognjen Dobric of Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade and Mihajlo Andric of Partizan NIS Belgrade – who have supported One Team throughout the season as ambassadors for their club's programs – were also in attendance to join a fun series of activities promoting the importance of teamwork.
The players had a great time, with Zvezda guard Dobric saying: “It was a lot of fun to spend some time with the volunteers, who have an important part to play in the Final Four. One Team needs people like this to make sure the activities work well and we have been very happy to meet them today. It is a privilege for me and my club to take part in this program.”
Partizan swingman Andric is looking forward to a fantastic week, adding: “The Final Four is such a great event, it’s the biggest event in European basketball. This is a basketball country so we are all excited to welcome the Final Four, especially with the extra events like One Team activities and the FanZone so that everyone in Belgrade can feel the EuroLeague and enjoy what the Final Four brings to our city.”
Long-time One Team supporter Arlauckas has attended many events with volunteers in the past and he said: “This welcome session is a great way to show our utmost appreciation for the people behind the scenes who don’t get any publicity, and also a way to motivate them and get them excited for all the events which will take place over the weekend.”
It was also a fun occasion for the volunteers, who also had a chance to pose for photos with the trophy and are now looking forward to supporting the Final Four family and spreading One Team's message of social inclusion as European basketball's greatest event comes to their home city.
“As soon as my cousin told me about the opportunity to become a volunteer I signed up straight away! Everyone in Belgrade is very excited about welcoming the Final Four and all its activities to our city,” smiled volunteer Mia Brzakovic.
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.