A special welcome session for enthusiastic Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four volunteers tipped off a busy week of One Team activities in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, on Wednesday morning.
One Team is Euroleague Basketball's highly successful social responsibility program, which has been using the power of basketball to change lives and integrate communities with the support of all 40 clubs in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup.
The program will be celebrated with several special events this week in Vitoria-Gasteiz, where around 80 local and international volunteers have offered their help to ensure everything runs like clockwork.
The volunteers were officially welcomed to the Final Four on Wednesday with a fun and dynamic gym session at the Polideportivo Mendizorrotza, which will also be the venue, starting Thursday, for the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament.
With the support of experienced One Team coaches, the volunteers were introduced to the goals and methodologies used in the program, emphasizing the importance of helping those who are at risk of social exclusion.
The event was supported by local EuroLeague team KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz with a special appearance from the club's One Team Ambassador, Ilimane Diop, who said: "I'm really happy to have the volunteers here. They will make everything easy at all our activities and I think they're going to do a great job."
Also in attendance was Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu, along with Euroleague Basketball Ambassador Joe Arlauckas, a long-time supporter of One Team.
Arlauckas said: "This is the first time the volunteers have been together, and a lot of the drills we do here are based on getting to know each other and working together. It's interesting to watch how throughout the session each team starts to perform better together; it's a lot of fun to watch. Volunteers are really the heart and soul of a tournament like the Final Four because they are the people who make everything work perfectly."
One of the volunteers at the welcome session, Jordi Muñoz, said: "I volunteer because I wanted to be an active part of the EuroLeague Final Four, give a hand in any way possible, and enjoy the best basketball in Europe. I think that every volunteer will have a great time here. Today's session with One Team was great because we met new people from different places and we had tons of fun. We also learned more about the social activities that One Team is doing all over Europe through the EuroLeague and EuroCup teams."
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. Once team is supported by every club in the EuroLeague and the EuroCup.
Since its founding in 2012, the One Team program has already helped more than 16,000 participants through its various team-focused projects.