For most children, education plays a central role in their development and growth. But it wasn't true for Giuseppe, a boy from Milan who didn't go to school because it wasn't a priority for his family. And to make his childhood even more difficult, Giuseppe was born deaf.
He wanted to learn many things, but instead, from a very young age, he spent his days in a shack, often completely alone. Then, at the age of nine, his mother left him a sheet of paper with the letters of the alphabet, and Giuseppe spent hours teaching himself, spending his afternoons copying them from time to time.
A rainy afternoon, a member of the local community saw Joseph sitting on the ground, reciting these letters with commitment and dedication, and so much hope in his eyes. Eyes that they had seen so much, and compensated for what he could not feel due to his deafness expressing all he had learned.
That chance encounter changed Joseph's life. Now, go to school, following all the lessons with curiosity and participation, and showing that when things are done from the heart, everything is possible.
As part of his school studies, last season Giuseppe participated in the & # 39; Basket For Good & # 39; project, a local community initiative organized by AXA ARMANI Exchange Olimpia Milan as part of One Team, the Euroleague Basketball social responsibility program.
He loved all the activities, he regularly observed the teacher, one of his guardian angels, and smiled as if to say: "Look what I'm doing, look how good I am!"
He embodies the sport for those who never give up, doing incredible things with the ball while participating in relay races and shooting competitions, supported by his companions, who in turn are infected by his desire to learn.
Giuseppe, now 10, had to learn the alphabet but now, thanks to One Team, he is learning the ABC of basketball, allowing him to write the special story of a magical child who always thought he could fly.
Marilisa Zanini, coach of the Milan team, said:
"I think giving children this kind of experience is very rewarding: through this project, children have the opportunity to discover the sport and try to overcome their limitations, improving both on and off the field.
"Basketball allows you to make new friends, and with One Team children have learned that through sport you can grow despite the difficulties. Everything is possible if you want it just enough."
Michele Samaden, another coach of a team for the Italian club, added:
"A team is a great opportunity to get out of the difficult situations of everyday life and feel part of a big family. Sharing the sport and in particular the ball means sharing your emotions. It doesn't matter if you are tall, short, if you know how to play or no, what matters is being at ease with others and discovering that each of us is important and has so much to give ".
A Team, supported by Turkish Airlines as One Founding Patron and with the collaboration of Special Olympics as Proud Partner, uses basketball to achieve a real social impact in our communities. Since its founding in 2012, the One Team program has already directly and indirectly reached 16,000 participants through its various team projects.
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