Integrated basketball – a part of One Team program at Zalgirio Arena 0
The recent gameday of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague was dedicated to One Team program initiated by Euroleague Basketball and executed by Zalgiris Kaunas. It became a real dream come true for local One Team participants at Zalgirio Arena.
This season Lithuanian champions renewed the work with the teenagers from Kaunas youth detention center, who gathered up at the practice court of Zalgirio Arena where the traditional One Team session was joined by a group of special guests.
After the first part of the session One Team participants teamed-up to try a one-off sport – they played an integrated basketball game together with players in wheelchairs, who shared their thoughts after the meeting.
“I play in the first division of wheelchair basketball in Italy this season. Wheelchair basketball is not so popular in Lithuania, but we are trying to change it.
First of all, there is a different attitude to our sport in Italy. People come to watch our games just like they do in any other regular sports, because it is exciting and interesting. The projects like One Team help to alter the viewpoint of our game that it could reach the same level of excitement and involve the fans” – says Zymantas, the professional wheelchair basketball player.
His colleague Edgaras plays professionally abroad for the fourth consecutive season and is certain that basketball can be loved and played by everyone.
“I am in this sport since I was a teenager and it brings me happiness and love for the basketball. I play in Germany Bundesliga team where the level is really high. It was an interesting experience to meet the participants of One Team, get to know them. Projects like that are very good for our society. I think both sides can learn from each other” – Edgaras said.
Later on, all the activities relocated to the main court of Zalgirio Arena. Wheelchair basketball professionals and One Team participants showed their skills in integrated basketball in front of thousands of Zalgiris Kaunas fans, who applauded the players for their remarkable effort.