Brooklyn Nets star Deron Williams has teamed up with Autism Speaks, in partnership with his own foundation, Point of Hope, in an effort to raise awareness and funds for research. Autism is Deron’s personal cause after his son DJ was diagnosed nearly two years ago. Read more from USA Today.
On Saturday, April 6, 2013, Deron and the Brooklyn Nets participated in a special autism awareness event at the Barclays Center. Through Williams’ foundation, Point of Hope, families affected by autism were invited to watch the Brooklyn Nets faceoff with the Charlotte Bobcats from suites donated to the Point of Hope Foundation in honor of Deron’s efforts to celebrate Autism Awareness Month. The suites allowed the families to watch the game comfortably in an autism friendly environment. The night also featured a special autism awareness NBA Cares PSA (Public Service Announcement) featuring Deron, the Nets coaching staff proudly wearing the Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin and more. After the game, families were able to meet, take pictures with and have autographs signed by Williams.
Prior to tip-off, Deron made brief remarks about his personal connection to autism and announced himself an official ambassador of Autism Speaks. During the game, he wore blue Nike sneakers in honor of Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue campaign and Autism Awareness Month throughout April.
Autism Speaks wishes to thank Deron Williams, The Brooklyn Nets, the Barclays Center and the Point of Hope Foundation for their support. We also wish to thank and acknowledge the NBA for their ongoing commitment to our community.
For the fourth consecutive year, the NBA partnered with Autism Speaks to recognize April as National Autism Awareness Month. The league and its teams have raised fan awareness about autism through a variety of activities, including:
Commemoration of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, Air Canada Centre (Toronto Raptors), Amway Center (Orlando Magic), Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks), and the United Center (Chicago Bulls), along with the NBA TV studio were lit blue as part of our Light It Up Blue initiative to shine a light on autism.
Teams around the league, including the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, and the Sacramento Kings, hosted special events and Autism Awareness Nights. The in-arena nights featured ticket programs and raffles to benefit autism research, player meet-and-greets for children with autism, special broadcast messages to encourage support for the cause, Autism Speaks lapel pins worn by coaching staff, the distribution of educational materials and more.
- NBA Cares produced a special PSA with Deron to highlight autism awareness.
Williams’ first partnership with Autism Speaks took place in December 2012 where he and his wife, Amy, hosted families living with autism, who were also affected by Hurricane Sandy, for a special holiday luncheon. The luncheon was part of an annual initiative of the Point of Hope Foundation. For more information on the Point of Hope foundation, please visit:http://www.deronwilliams.com/news/raising-awareness-autism/2013/04/01