Zalgiris stars secure big win off the court 0

Zalgiris Kaunas and One Team ambassadors have happily finished their visits to troubled teenagers at Kaunas youth detention center. Zalgiris has achieved its first season win outside the court – the first stage of EuroLeague’s project One Team is now successfully over.

For the last three months One Team ambassadors and Zalgiris players Augusto Lima and Antanas Kavaliauskas have been visiting the Kaunas youth detention center. The two basketball big men have been breaking stereotypes, giving motivational speeches and providing some new hope to the inmates.

The last meeting was really special for the youngsters – they had the chance to practice with Zalgiris players, as well as to play a few basketball games. Even the security guards of the facility joined in.

After these activities, it was time for the certificate ceremony. One Team ambassadors Lima and Kavaliauskas presented diplomas to the members of the project. It is important to mention, though, that not all of the participants received a certificate – some of them were already released from the institution and starting their lives over.

Probably the most important part of One Team is the communication between the ambassadors and the participants. Zalgiris center Kavaliauskas was really happy after this project. He was extremely glad that he got the chance to help these young men find their path.

“It’s not like everyday you get the chance to communicate with young people that made some mistakes, admitted them and that are now trying to make the most out of it” – Antanas shared his thoughts.

Vytautas Lamauskas, the principal of the facility, was also really satisfied with this project. He is sure, that Zalgiris players were a good influence on the youngsters: “The kids were always asking about the visits, they just couldn’t wait. It’s extremely important for our inmates to meet successful people. Especially basketball players. While at meetings with them, our residents were interested to know how did Zalgiris players manage to achieve their goals. I believe it is extremely important for a troubled child to see with his own eyes that it is possible to achieve great things by choosing the right path.”

Eimantas, who is an inmate of the detention center, is getting released in two months, due to good behavior. He was really glad he got the chance to be a part of One Team and shared his thoughts and dreams: “I got an education while being here. I took cooking classes, I have worked as a cook. I really like making food. But as for my future job, I would really like to be involved with car racing. That is my dream. To be honest, this project has taught us to set our goals and how to achieve them”.

This is the fourth year in a row now that Zalgiris has been involved in the growth of One Team.  The next step of the program for Lithuanian champions is working with other youth groups.