Retired player, university lecturer lift Zalgiris One Team

May 13, 2020 by Euroleague.net Print
Retired player, university lecturer lift Zalgiris One Team

One Team, the social responsibility program of Euroleague Basketball, is beneficial not only for the young people who take part. It also provides life-changing opportunities to the people who support the organization of the activities, many of whom are volunteers with their local clubs.

Two great examples come from Zalgiris Kaunas, starting with Antanas Usas, who started volunteering five years ago. Back then, he was still a student, but he managed to find time to volunteer with One Team and continued to do so even after finishing his studies. Antanas is now a lecturer at the Lithuanian Sports University, and working with One Team helps him in his professional activities.

"I have to work with a lot of different people who have different kinds of thoughts, opinions and problems, so the experience that I bring from One Team helps me a lot in everyday work," he explained.

Another supporter of Zalgiris's One Team program is Gediminas Navickas, who became a volunteer at the start of this season after finishing a long career as a professional player. The experiences he brings from his playing days are valuable for the activities, and he is also now working in the Zalgiris youth system.

The story of these two different personalities intertwines in the great video documentary produced by Zalgiris about the challenges, victories and details that come with the One Team project. You can also see what inspires Antanas and Gediminas, and what they have learned.

"I didn't expect it's so professional and so big," said Gediminas. "Probably the most beautiful thing from this program is that when we meet the kids in the first session they are shy and afraid, but after a couple of sessions, they transform. It's really interesting to see how they start to smile more, speak more, joke more."

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.