“One Team” season finale: life tips for the youth and a practice that brought everyone together

The fifth season of the social action program One Team – Basketball Power ended in Vilnius’s Lietuvos Rytas arena last week. The young players had the chance to train with all of the Lietuvos Rytas club players in the big season finale. Club Vice President Linas Kleiza also amazed the kids with his appearance and a heartwarming speech.

BC “Lietuvos rytas” team surprised the young players with the appearance of every club player at this celebratory practice.

“Today I was very surprised how many players of BC Lietuvos rytas were in our practice! I’m a huge fan of this team”, said Arnold, a student from the “One Team” program. “Practices like this are very fun. Everyone can learn something, share experiences and help each other.”

For more than an hour, the four teams competed in various obstacle courses that emphasized life skills, collaboration, trust, and responsibility. The teams had a good time and fought hard but the winning team was led by Arturas Jomantas. He is the captain of the Lietuvos Rytas team, who had help from Loukas Mavrokefalidis, David Sirvydis, and seven students from the One Team program.

“Events like these are very important. They look at us as role models, so we must act like it. After all, I’ve been there age and at gatherings like this one we can be together and enjoy the wonderful sport of basketball. This is an incredible opportunity for them to set goals and reach for them.” said Jimmy Baron.

“I really enjoyed the unity. Although I do not speak Lithuanian, we did not have any problems communicating with each other. It was very fun to see everyone working together.” added the guard.

“It was the best workout ever! We must do everything for the children and to see smiles on their faces.”

At the end of the final practice, young basketball players sat down in the middle of the court together with the players of Lietuvos Rytas. Rokas Giedraitis, Mindaugas Girdziunas, Martynas Echodas and A.Jomantas shared their painful experiences in pursuit of a basketball player’s career. They also gave out some tips that would make it easier for students in the One Team program to find their way to accomplish their goals.

“I would advise children to rely only on sports. Do not pay attention to all kinds of temptations or harmful habits, and simply realize yourself in the game.”, was wisdom shared by the Greek L.Mavrokefalidis.

“It’s very important to choose the right friends. A young basketball player needs as much support from his family, friends and relatives as possible. It is also necessary to realize that the main point is the journey to achieve the goal. It doesn’t matter whether you take small steps or large ones. Do not stop and everything will be fine.” said D.Sirvydis, the seventeen-year-old professional basketball player.

Summing up the fifth year of One Team – Basketball Power, program coordinator A.Vareika said that this is an amazing opportunity for Lithuanian youth, for which he is happy with all his heart.

“We had an awesome One Team season, and this last event was like the cherry on top of a cake. The young players had the opportunity to chat with basketball players of Lietuvos Rytas and hear about their difficult childhoods. Perhaps we often see such things as small or irrelevant, but the eyes of the children shined bright, and such moments can change their lives.

Today we had more than thirty One Team program students. If at least five of them decide to choose the right path of life, then this program is a total success. Thank you Euroleague for this program, which has provided an opportunity for Lithuanian youth.”


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