Once a week during the last two months, 10 inmates from the Spini di Gardolo Detention Center have been in the gym to play basketball as part of the Dolomiti Energia Trento's One Team program.
For a fourth consecutive season, the Italian team is part of Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility project. This year, Trento is working with the local detention center to use basketball as a tool to create better players and, more importantly, better people.
Claudio March, an expert in developing youth players who is the club's One Team coach, leads the practices in order to develop not only technical aspects but also to truly create the 'One Team' mentality.
In last week's practice, he was joined by Rashard Kelly, the team's power forward and One Team Ambassador, who came along to take part in a session that has already become a significant part of the week for all the participants.
Kelly is playing an active role in the program, and in addition to training with the team, he is always sensitive to the people involved and their individual stories, remembering the importance of learning from your mistakes in order to start again and become better people.
Kelly and March were also accompanied by Davide Dusmet, Trento's senior team assistant coach, who led the training together with One Team manager Massimo Komatz, bringing to the field some exercises usually performed by Trento's team in the 7DAYS EuroCup.
Practice by practice, the players are improving their skills, but in this case, technical goals are not the main focus: playing sports in prison can be highly positive not only to maintain a satisfactory state of psycho-physical health but also to improve coexistence within the institution by helping to reduce tension and conflict. For this reason, the club is already discussing with the prison educators another project of this kind in the future.
This initiative was conceived thanks to the precious support of the educational section of the prison administration and APAS Trento, a local association of social help for inmates, former detainees and their families.
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 19,000 participants through its various team-focused projects.