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May 21, 2016
Special Olympics athletes tip off Euroleague's 2016 Final Four Weekend

Special Olympics athletes and Euroleague stars gathered for an open air Unified skills training session ahead of the Final Four games in Berlin (Photo: Special Olympics)

Berlin, May 21, 2016 - Euroleague Basketball’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme ONE TEAM and nine Special Olympics athletes from Germany tipped off the 2016 Final Four weekend on a sunny day at ‪the fanzone at the famous Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Special Olympics athletes and Euroleague stars gathered for an open air Unified skills training session ahead of the Final Four games showing how basketball can break down barriers to inclusion and isolation for people with intellectual disabilities. One Team Ambassadors Viktor Khryapa of CSKA Moscow, Ekpe Udoh of Fenerbahce Istanbul, Evgeny Voronov of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar along with One Team Global Ambassador Kyle Hines joined the session and worked with the athletes to build their basketball skills and confidence on and off the court.

“It is great. I had the opportunity to be here since the inception of One Team. To see it get bigger and bigger every year is definitely incredible, said CSKA Moscow’s Kyle Hines. “For all of us, to come together at such a big event like Final Four, to have opportunity to be here and take part with Special Olympics athletes, is truly an honor for all of us.”

“It is always a special event for such activities with Euroleague stars, and One Team is a perfect opportunity to promote inclusion. There is no better way to show it, than with celebrities, so people with intellectual disabilities can really experience a unique life opportunity, enjoy basketball, and a new experience and learn new skills”, said Miroslaw Krogulec, Sports Director at Special Olympics Europe and Eurasia, adding that this was also yet another event that has strengthened the partnership between Euroleague Basketball and One Team’s Proud Partner Special Olympics.

“This is not the first year we are doing this. We started in 2009 with a partnership, and in 2012 we became a proud partner of One Team. Every year in November we have a One Team week, with Special Olympics on courts across Europe, demonstrating courage and skills on the court. Here, at the highlight event of the season, we are proud to open the Final Four.”

Now five years old, 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 grassroots activities that have reached more than 10,000 participants to date thanks to the help of One Team Founding Patron Turkish Airlines.

See images and a video of the 2016 One Team Special Olympics Berlin Session Here

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