The life of Boubacar Jallow has been much of a wild ride to this point. Born in Gambia in 1996, Jallow went through some difficult times and had to flee the country when his life was threatened. After spending time in several African countries, he managed to try his luck reaching Europe on a rubber boat with 75 other people that was rescued by the Italian Navy. Soon after, Jallow was on a plane to the region of Trentino, whose capital is Trento.
Jallow's new life in Italy started with five months in a refugee camp where nothing was as he had expected: from the language, to the climate, to the food. He was moved a couple times around the region until he finally was put in a small apartment in the outskirts of Trento. That's when Jallow decided to join the One Team programme organized by Dolomiti Energia Trento.
With the help of the motivation from the programme, Jallow has started to integrate more into the community and to embrace Italian language and culture. One of Jallow's biggest personal challenges was to meet new people from Africa or elsewhere and to make new friends, which he has accomplished with other attendees at the programme. Thanks to this positive experience, Jallow has started to spread the word to other people in situations similar to his, so they can also join the programme and become a part of the Trento community through basketball.
"I learned how important it is to give all you have in things you do. Only this can make you improve," Jallow said. "I also learned how to play basketball. It’s a beautiful sport that gives me joy and a sense of togetherness."
The story of Jallow has had a positive impact on the local community in Trento, too, with local TV and newspapers wanting wanted to make his exerience known to everyone. After becoming somewhat of a local celebrity, Jallow is now taking a course as a baker's apprentice so he can soon also have a job that allows him to make a living in his new home in Italy.
Dolomiti Energia Basket Trento incorporated its One Team programme through a specific social responsibility programme called “Aquila Basket for no profit” which is aimed at raising awareness of social, medical and cultural problems present in their city and society. Jointly with Centro Astalli and ATAS onlus, they have created a One Team programme dedicated to asylum seekers.
Now finishing its fifth year, One Team was created by Euroleague Basketball to use the power of basketball as a tool to integrate at-risk communities in 14 countries through grass-roots activities that have reached more than 10,000 participants to date thanks to the help of One Team Founding Patron Turkish Airlines.