Integration has been the focus in the last few months for ALBA Berlin's activities with One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program.
The German club has been working with Lisa Tetzner Schule, an elementary school in the Gropiusstadt district of Berlin. Fully 75% of the kids at the school come from migrant backgrounds, with many of them enduring difficult family and social situations. Most of them have no normal language development because German is not their native language.
To address the problems caused by this tough situation, the club developed a campaign called 'ALBA macht Schule' (ALBA makes school), with two coaches working alongside the school's teachers to assist with physical education lessons and prepare special basketball courses.
The club also introduced an after-school club, giving children the chance to train twice a week and play in the official Berlin Basketball League (BBV) under the name ALBA Gropiusstadt. These opportunities were simply not available to the children before, because there were no organized basketball teams in this part of the city.
Around 20 children took part in all the sessions, which along with basketball techniques also focussed on key life skills such as teamwork, commitment and self-discipline. The players also had a special training session with ALBA star player and One Team Ambassador Johannes Thiemann, who later invited the group to attend a game at the Mercedes Benz Arena.
The program led to a great improvement in the social behavior of the whole group, who formed close connections with each other. The children also had better experiences at school, developing stronger social bonds and identifying with ALBA as a club, learning through basketball the importance of making and keeping long-term commitments.
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.