During its first season as part of One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program, Bahcesehir Koleji Istanbul has been running a special project to help a group of young Syrian refugees integrate into their new community.
The 7DAYS EuroCup club has been working with a group of 11 children on a regular basis, with the "Hope On The Court" project doing exactly as the title suggests: using the power of basketball to inspire the children and make them realize that they can build a bright future.
Explaining the impact of the program, which has also supported their school education, Bahcesehir's One Team Manager Murathan Kosoglu said: "In the first week, to get to know the students, we invited their families, too. We wanted to show the families where their children will take lessons. We did a trial lesson because the families did not know much about basketball.
"The father of one of the students had tears in his eyes while watching him playing basketball. That shows us he has much greater stories behind those eyes, and even a basketball session became a hope that would change their lives."
One of the participants, Muhammed Eskif, expressed his happiness with the project, saying: "I want to be three things when I grow up. I want to be a football player, a police officer or a basketball player. But I want to be a basketball player most of all. I want to be a member of the Bahcesehir Koleji basketball team."
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 22,000 participants through its various team-focused projects.