The positive impact of One Team on groups and communities is well documented by now. Having all 40 teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and 7DAYS EuroCup take an active part in One Team assures that the social responsibility program of Euroleague Basketball resonates locally in cities across the continent.
But the life-changing benefits that come to many of the individual participants in those local One Team projects are best illustrated by people like Arturas. A teenager in Lithuania who found himself aimless and in trouble, Arturas has been uplifted this year by the One Team program run by that country's most famous club, Zalgiris Kaunas.
By the time he entered 10th grade, Arturas had found himself on probation for fighting. He had been hanging in the streets all the time and was unable to spend money on more positive leisure activities due to his family circumstances. His mother, who is unemployed, described him as someone full of energy who mostly needed positive ways to spend it, but without the proper outlet for that energy, Arturas was at a crossroads.
To the rescue came Zalgiris with a One Team project that, since 2013, has been helping youngsters like Arturas in the Kaunas Regional Probation Service by using basketball to teach responsibility and self-guidance. Arturas quickly recognized One Team as the perfect way to have a positive hobby without needing money. He made sure to go to every One Team session and won an award for the best attendance. He also learned to step back and think of the possible consequences of his actions before they got him into trouble.
As a result, Arturas is avoiding the kind of meaningless fights he got into before. He is coping, communicating better and making friends more easily. What's more, his experience in One Team has carried over to his life away from the program, as Arturas has now found a free sports activity to participate in at school, too.
His excellent attitude helps others, as well. Arturas now uses his extra energy to help his mother at home rather than waste it in the streets, where his friends are noticing that he has found a more mature way to behave.
The story of Arturas is the story of many of the more than 16,000 One Team participants who have been helped through its various team-focused projects since the program was founded in 2012.
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.