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Calls to Action

Deron Williams Plays an Important Role in The Autism Community

September 11, 2014

(September 18, 2014) -- Autism Speaks was proud to take part in Deron Williams' Celebrity Dodge Barage for the Point of Hope Foundation. Watch the video below for a recap of the event. 

NBA star Deron Williams is not just an ordinary basketball player. During his collegiate years he was an All-Big Ten guard and second team All-American at Illinois, and was selected 3rd overall in the 2005 NBA draft. Deron was featured today in YAHOO SPORTS! Deron opens up to YAHOO about his basketball career and his advocacy role for the autism community. Deron’s life took a turn when adopted son DJ was diagnosed with autism.

Deron has made such an important impact in the autism community. Williams has started his Point of Hope foundation, which is non-profit that provides grants for various childrens organizations. His foundation has fundraising events throughout the year to benefit autism. Williams says, "As athletes, we have the ability to affect people," he says. "I'd say for people who support us night-in, night-out on the basketball court, it's our way of giving back how we can." Deron has become devoted in spreading awareness for autism, while basketball has now become just a job. Williams says, "The raising awareness is the most important to me.

This Monday, September 15th is one of Deron’s signature fundraising events for spreading autism awareness. The 5th Annual Celebrity Dodge Barrage, which is one of his signature fundraising events that raises money for autism awareness. A team of Autism Speaks staffers are ecstatic to be participating in the dodgeball tournament. Autism Speaks Vice President of Community Affairs Jamitha Fields stays connected with Deron and helps him with fundraising ideas. Fields says, "It’s not like an event that's put on the calendar and he shakes a couple of hands and he's out the door," she says. "He's fully invested. He wants to make sure we're doing something for the families. He cares because he's a part of who they are."