Euroleague Basketball's efforts to support our communities are boosted at every club in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and the 7DAYS EuroCup by an official One Team Ambassador – a player who works directly with the program to help vulnerable people in tough situations.
At Unicaja Malaga, though, Polish scoring ace Adam Waczynski has gone a step further by not only giving his own time to support One Team, but also making sure that his whole family gets involved.
Throughout the season, Unicaja held regular online meetings with Down Malaga, a local association founded 20 years ago by a group of parents whose children have Downs Syndrome with the objective of improving their quality of life and giving them more independence. The program saw 20 participants, aged 19-61, join weekly sessions to learn different life skills through specially designed basketball-based drills.
Many of those sessions were attended by Waczynski, who became a great motivator for the group and made a great impact on the participants, even more so when he was joined by his wife Natalia – who also played in the women's Euroleague and with the Polish Under-20 national team – and their children Julia and Aleks.
Unicaja's One Team Manager Jose Carlos Gaspar said: "This season has been very special. We have all experienced moments that are difficult to describe. In these times you most value the people who help others to feel better and overcome adversity. For this reason, I give even more value to all the help that Adam and his family have given us. I especially thank them for what they have done with a group of young people from Down Malaga, who have appreciated the effort of the Waczynski family and themselves served as an example for the whole society, transmitting respect and caution always. Thank you, team."
Waczynski added: "Being an ambassador of One Team is a big honour for me and my family. We feel this is very important for society, to help them feel better and show that we are all equal. They are amazing people who deserve help and support like no one else in the world. I love to help people in many ways, I love to make them smile. My wife and kids are like me – they love to help, which is why they identify with the program and they do as much as they can."
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.