It may have been Super Bowl weekend but football wasn’t the only sport making headlines. On Saturday, February 1, the first ever Autism Awareness Day in College Basketball ruled the airwaves with more than 80 coaches and sportscasters donning the Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece pin. Whether you were watching ESPN’s game day coverage or the Duke vs. Syracuse game on CBS, the little blue puzzle pieces were everywhere.
The campaign was started by Towson University’s Coach Pat Skerry and Marshall University’s Coach Tom Herrion, who both have sons on the autism spectrum. Folks from around the country took part online by sharing their own photos and messages of support using #AutismHoops. Thousands of people posted to Facebook and Twitter about the event! Check out our recap below…
Anyone can participate in Coaches Powering Forward for Autism by joining their favorite coach or school’s fundraising team at www.autismspeaks.org/coachpower. Participants are encouraged to enlist others to join the campaign, with the goal of each team raising $6,800 – a figure symbolic of the 1 in 68 children on the autism spectrum. The funds will go towards Autism Speaks’ research and advocacy efforts on behalf of the autism community.
The inspiration: Coach Pat Skerry, Coach Tom Herrion and their sons.
The sportscasters kicked off #AutismHoops!
Thanks to everyone at Autism Speaks U that made our presence known in the crowds!
Coaches Skerry and Herrion were very grateful for everyone who made #AutismHoops a reality. We can't wait 'til next year!
Very proud to be able to be a part of a special day as we raised awareness for autism. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all involved...
— Coach Herrion (@CoachTomHerrion) February 2, 2014
Awesome atmosphere @secuMD arena today. Fortunate to come out on top over a super Drexel team. Thx to all who helped with AutismAwareness
— Pat Skerry (@CoachPatSkerry) February 2, 2014
Top NCAA coaches showed their support: