Last week Panathinaikos OPAP Athens completed this season's activities for its 'Basketball is Everywhere' project, which has been running throughout the last few months as part of One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program.
The Greek giant has been working with the basketball team of Special Olympics Hellas, whose young players finished their program of regular events by visiting the Panathinaikos training courts at the Olympic Sports Center and enjoying a practice session with the club's assistant coach, Diamantis Panagiotopoulos.
The session concluded with the participants receiving gifts from club sponsors Superfoods, Adidas, Chipita, 3E and viva.gr.
"It is a great honor for Panathinaikos to participate in this program," Panagiotopoulos said. "Sport is not just about victories and defeats: the most important element is our contribution to society. I think these initiatives offer joy and strength to people who are trying to improve their daily lives."
The success of the program was explained by one of the Special Olympics athletes, Alexandros Logothetides, who said: "I really enjoy learning from my participation in the program. I love basketball and I get to know the outside world in a better way through basketball. We learn about respect, teamwork and how to control our temper. We are all one team. We are family and feel like brothers."
This latest One Team season – the fifth in a row for Panathinaikos – has been supported by the club's One Team Ambassador, James Gist, who said: "We should all support these efforts to go one step forward as a society and as people.
"I am very happy and proud that my team, Panathinaikos, has organized 'Basketball is Everywhere' for the fifth consecutive year, and I would like to congratulate all those who worked hard to participate in the program this year. I hope the program will continue next season. Congratulations to everybody."
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.