The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague FanZone in downtown Vitoria-Gasteiz opened its doors on Friday morning with a special session for One Team, the competition's social responsibility program.
Participants from Fundación 5+11 – the One Team partner of local club KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz – were joined on the main court by Final Four Ambassadors Joe Arlauckas, Michalis Kakiouzis, Ibrahim Kutluay, Andres Nocioni, Igor Rakocevic, Johnny Rogers, Mirsad Turkcan and Nikola Vujcic.
The ambassadors engaged with the children during an entertaining series of One Team activities, which were all aimed at building teamwork and communication to allow the watching crowd to understand the main message of the program: we are all One Team.
"Once again, I want to say how much I appreciate what Euroleague Basketball is doing with One Team," Final Four ambassador Mirsad Turkcan said. "It's not my first time here, and I think we need to do all we can for kids like this who need love and attention. For example, you see when they score here, it's a thrill for them. These kids will remember these moments all their lives."
Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu was also on hand to support the One Team initiative and recognize the participation of the ambassadors in the program's efforts to make a difference for at-risk groups across Europe and beyond.
"One Team is getting bigger every year," Andres Nocioni, the now-retired 2015 Final Four MVP, said. "Euroleague Basketball is making a big effort towards the community and that is important for everybody. Kids with problems, everybody is important enough to enjoy the sport of basketball. For Vitoria, this is all really important, not just for hosting the Final Four, but also for giving back to the community."
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 16,000 participants through its various team-focused projects.
The 5+11 Fundación, Baskonia's social partner, is a non-profit entity which works with the Vitoria-Gasteiz community to promote healthy lifestyle habits and values such as sportsmanship and teamwork, engaging with more than 40,000 children per year.
The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague FanZone is located in the heart of the city at three central squares: Plaza España (Plaza Nueva), Plaza de la Virgen Blanca and Plaza de los Fueros. It is open to all visitors from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. throughout Final Four weekend, and is filled with games, shows, contests and activities sponsored by Euroleague Basketball partners Turkish Airlines, 7DAYS, adidas, Bwin, Eneos, Endesa, AXA, Oscar Mayer, Volvo and StubHub.