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Calls to Action

World Autism Awareness Day and NBA's Deron Williams Featured on ESPN

April 03, 2014

(April 3, 2014) -- Last night, the NBA on ESPN's game between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, featured a video PSA  highlighting Autism Speaks and World Autism Awareness Day. The video also highlighted 3-time all star Brooklyn Nets point guard and Autism Speaks Ambassador Deron Williams, who has a son on the autism spectrum.

After the video played announcers Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy discussed autism awareness. A transcript of their discussion is below....

Mike Breen: “Well, since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made just terrific strides, committing about $200 million to research and developing innovative resources for families, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure. Every 11 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism – affects approximately 70 million people. Deron Williams is someone who’s had to deal with it. His son has autism and he’s been in the forefront in trying to gain awareness which has come a long way but still needs to go a long way more.”

Jeff Van Gundy: “Well it’s about to 1 in 68 children and Mike, one of the biggest problems – talking to some families about it – is the ability to afford therapy. A lot of it’s not covered by your insurances, and so why should a person of wealth be able to afford more therapy sessions than people who are less fortunate? The children should not have to pay the price and I think it’s outrageous that it’s not covered.”

Mike Breen: “And because it’s the fastest-growing, serious developmental disability in the United States, the numbers are increasing, and now is the time for that to change. You’re right.”

Jeff Van Gundy: “Absolutely... Everybody wearing the pins tonight.”

Mike Breen: “All the coaches, who are many of them.”

The Associated Press  featured Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets' upcoming Autism Awareness Day game on April 11th, when Nets will be home the Barclay's Center against the Atlanta Hawks. Learn more about how Deron is getting involved through the NBA Cares PSA video below.

Learn how the world is Lighting It Up Blue for Autism Awareness in April.