Euroleague players give up their names in support of One Team & Special Olympics 0

All players will wear ONE TEAM instead of their names on their uniforms during Round 6 games. Rounds 6 and 7 will be dedicated to One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s corporate social responsibility programme, and to its Proud Partner, Special Olympics.

Spanoulis. Navarro. Diamantidis. Bogdanovic. Fernandez. Hines. Ajinca. Mirotic. Theirs are among the most-recognized names in basketball. But you won’t see any of those names on court next Thursday or Friday in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague.

In the place where their names should be, the jerseys of all Turkish Airlines Euroleague players this week will read the same – One Team – to show their solidarity with Euroleague Basketball’s corporate social responsibility programme and the many needy communities it serves across Europe.

Rounds 6 and 7 of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season will be dedicated to One Team’s support of long-time strategic partner Special Olympics and its global leadership role in using sport to promote social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

Between November 21 and 29, in addition to the call to action by Euroleague players, arenas across Europe will welcome male and female Special Olympics athletes to center court, where One Team Ambassadors or team captains will read messages before each tipoff to increase awareness of the fight against exclusion that’s at the heart of both One Team and Special Olympics.

“When we talk about community, We Are One Team, – Zalgiris Kaunas captain Paulius Jankunas said. – We fight for one trophy, but no matter the colours on our uniforms we get together for our communities.”

Since 2009, Euroleague Basketball has been working to support the efforts of Special Olympics to change lives through the power of sport by empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. That collaboration was strengthened a year ago when Special Olympics became a Proud Partner of One Team, the programme through which 17 Euroleague Basketball clubs are reaching into their local communities to make a positive impact on social issues such as substance abuse, gender inequality, physical or intellectual disability and economic disadvantage.

“It goes without saying how proud Euroleague Basketball is to have a partner like Special Olympics that shares our goals and aspirations for One Team, namely to promote respect, acceptance and inclusion for excluded groups in our society,” Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO of Euroleague Basketball, said. “Our relationship with Special Olympics has grown into a year-round collaboration, but these 24 games over two weeks are key to making our fans and international audience aware of these shared values and projects to help make a positive impact in local communities. I especially want to thank our teams and players, who once again are showing their strength and solidarity toward their communities by following this initiative of giving their names to One Team.”

The two-week dedication of Turkish Airlines Euroleague games to the cause of inclusion will lead up to the celebration of the 10th annual Special Olympics European Basketball Week, which starts on November 30, and the International Day of People with Disability on December 3.

“Basketball Week is possible through the generosity and vision of Euroleague Basketball. It is a hugely important week in the Special Olympics calendar, with basketball being one of the most popular sports among our athletes at 58,000 players and growing,” Mary Davis, MD Special Olympics of Europe/Eurasia, said. “Because of its mass appeal, basketball brings those with and without intellectual disabilities together, breaking down barriers, changing attitudes and opening minds to the gifts and talents of people with intellectual disabilities in Europe. Basketball has the power to change lives. Our goal is to reach 60,000 players by 2013 so that more players, families, coaches and spectators can enjoy the wonderful game of basketball and experience the benefits that this magnetic game brings.”

About One Team

One Team is the Euroleague Basketball Corporate Social Responsibility programme developed by the league together with its member clubs and supported by Turkish Airlines. One Team has been created by the best experts in the world of sport for development of sport as a tool for positive social change. One Team is a way of thinking, a methodology that uses the power of basketball for the integration of our communities. One Team is applied to groups of people feeling excluded in our society for several reasons, such as substance abuse, gender inequality, physical or intellectual disabilities or community cohesion. Already 17 Euroleague teams participate in the One Team programme by delivering weekly sessions to different excluded groups of their communities.

The programme, which reached more than 5,000 youths in its first year of inception, has had a great impact including: project visits and actions; the successful launch and expansion of a One Team Ambassador programme; the Special Olympics involvement as One Team Proud Member; and the direct staff and stakeholder engagement of Turkish Airlines, the One Team Founding Patron.


About SOEE

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to over 4 million athletes in 170 countries worldwide, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and related programs.

Special Olympics takes place daily, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship.

Visit Special Olympics at