For the third consecutive season, last year Panathinaikos made a positive contribution in its community by working with a Special Juvenile Detention Group in Korinthos as part of One Team, Euroleague Basketball’s social responsibility programme.
The Detention Group offers treatment, social support and education to young people who need positive guidance in life, and the One Team project played a central part in that process.
One of the people to benefit was Vasilis, who attended every session for nearly three years and was a key member of the team, improving his basketball skills from session to session and also learning some valuable life lessons.
Staff at the Detention Centre noted that Vasilis was more positive and happier every time he attended one of the sessions with Panathinaikos, and he also dedicated extra time to improving his skills even when no coaches were present.
On one occasion he took over a part of the practice with a ten-minute work-out that he had devised himself, and it was clear that the One Team sessions were allowing him to develop a greater sense of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Last year, Vasilis only participated in the first five sessions – for the best possible reason, because he was then released from the centre.
Now out of Juvenile Detention, Vasilis has since returned to school and he has also found a part-time job. He has also kept contact with the friends he made through the One Team programme, and is looking for a basketball team to join so he can apply everything he has learned through the program and prove – mostly to himself – that he can achieve his ambitions.
Since its founding in 2012, the One Team programme has reached already directly and indirectly 14,000 participants through its various team projects.