Quique is a 16-year-old boy who has participated in the Real Madrid Foundation's adapted basketball school, part of the Euroleague Basketball One Team program, for the last six seasons.
Last year was especially hard for Quique after he underwent a seven-hour surgical intervention on his ankles, knees and hips that kept him away from basketball for a long time. Recovering from the surgery was a huge challenge, not only because of his physical limitations – he was hospitalized for 10 days after the surgery, spent eight months in a wheelchair, and then used a walker until he was finally able to walk on his own – but also because he was cut off from his friends and the sport he loves.
But Quique learned how to deal with his situation and showed great determination, feeling inspired to keep his work ethic because of his wish to make a full recovery and be reinstated in the basketball team.
He showed all the force of will and increase in self-esteem he has developed over the last few years to eventually reach his best physical and mental condition since joining the Real Madrid Foundation, proving his capabilities to get over adversity both in his personal and sporting life.
His story has inspired his teammates so much that they now see him as a role model, providing a great example of striving to the maximum and getting the most out of life even when it does not go the way you expected.
Real Madrid's adapted basketball program provides high-quality, basketball-related activities to participants with disabilities who don't usually find many opportunities to play. All sessions are adapted to their special needs with qualified teachers and coaches.
The main objectives are to teach the participants how to play basketball while also embedding positive values such as team spirit, autonomy, equality or self-esteem. The program involves 221 people starting from age 12 who take part in sessions twice a week in 11 different facilities around the city.
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.