AX Armani Exchange Milan stars Kyle Hines and Gigi Datome were the protagonists of the Italian club's recent online sessions for One Team, Euroleague Basketball's social responsibility program.
The former continental champions are Milan's One Team Ambassadors, and they held online sessions to spend personal time with 60 children from the fifth grade of the Baroni School in Gratosoglio, a suburban area of Milan where people from different backgrounds live at risk of social exclusion.
Datome and Hines, who have always been close to the problems of vulnerable youngsters, were able to play virtual games, talk about their careers, and offer advice based on the life lessons they have learned from the sport.
Hines emphasized the importance of preparing yourself to face challenging situations, such as the pressure of playing in a big game: "Immediately, once the game starts, the nervousness goes away. I know that because I've been preparing and practicing with my teammates and my coaches; I'm confident that we will do well. You're initially scared and nervous because you want to do well, but because I have prepared and I am confident in my abilities and my team's abilities, I know we will be able to perform well."
In his session, Datome explained that it's normal to sometimes lose heart when things don't go our way, but we must always find something positive and never give up – this is the secret to improving ourselves and winning every day.
For the third consecutive year, Milan's One Team program has been developed with Laureus Sport For Good Italia Onlus. The program with Baroni School has focused firstly on the importance of education, using the language of sport and its messages. The second phase focused on mental health and wellbeing, working on motor skills and emotions. Laureus Sport's psychologist and schoolteacher have delivered the program together with Milan's One Team coaches.
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.