As the name suggests, teamwork is a very important aspect of One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program. A great example of working together comes from Unicaja Malaga, the Spanish club that decided to create an innovative new project, Diversiteam, by joining together its two local social partners.
After several years working with Proyecto Hombre and one year with Down Malaga, the club realized that the two groups could help each other a lot if they combined forces.
The first big challenge was seeing how the participants from both groups would fit into One Team's basketball-based training sessions, an experience that soon proved to be extraordinarily positive and offered clear benefits to the young people involved.
Two examples are Carlos, from Down Malaga, and Berni, from Proyecto Hombre, who learned how to support each other and evolve individually thanks to basketball.
Before joining One Team, Carlos was a very shy and introverted young man with Down Syndrome who found it difficult to relate to people he didn't know. He also did not like sports and had quite a sedentary lifestyle.
Berni is a young Argentine man who has lived in Malaga since he was 15 years old. From the age of 10, he suffered addictions and experienced insecurities about his height that negatively influenced his self-esteem and self-confidence. At the age of 25, he realized that he had a problem and decided to join Proyecto Hombre.
Within a few days of meeting each other through the new Diversiteam program, they both realized that the characteristics they have in common are stronger than their differences. They hit it off perfectly and their mutual support helped them grow as individuals.
Thanks to One Team and his new friendship with Berni, Carlos has overcome his shyness, enters into more relationships with other people, and is more participative. Unicaja's One Team Ambassador Adam Waczynski has also become a reference for him. Every time the Polish star visits a training session, Carlos is the first one to welcome him. Overall, Carlos is becoming a person with tremendous vitality and optimism, always conveying positive messages to his peers.
As far as Berni is concerned, his relationship with Carlos has helped him to understand the reality of life for other people. He has learned how to work within a team, the importance of discipline and hard work, and an appreciation that diversity is enriching – every person is valuable because of who they are.
Berni has also become very involved with the overall project, trying to make both groups feel integrated, again showing how One Team can make a significant and important impact on lives.
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.