April is Autism Awareness Month, and that makes it an important time for Deron Williams and his Point of Hope Foundation.
As always, Deron and his wife Amy have several events planned for the opening week of the April and throughout the month. This year the festivities got an early start on Monday night March 30th at the NBA Cares and Autism Speaks Tip-off For a Cure.
Deron and Amy were selected by the NBA to be among the honorees at the event for the work they do alongside Autism Speaks.
The gala event, which was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, was put on to benefit people affected by autism spectrum disorder. Deron will also be visiting the Empire State Building on Thursday, April 2, World Autism Awareness Day, to help light the New York skyscraper up blue. Each event Deron and the Point of Hope Foundation participate in this month is centered around one goal: raising awareness for autism. Before the Brooklyn Nets game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night, Deron noted the importance of those efforts.
“I’m doing a couple of things,” he said. “On Thursday, I’m going to the Empire State Building and lighting it up blue. It’s just to raise awareness for the cause and bring as much attention to autism as possible, because people aren’t fully aware of how prevalent it is in today’s society.”
It’s a cause close to both Deron and Amy, as their son D.J. is autistic. The couple adopted D.J. several years ago while Deron was still playing for the Utah Jazz and he was later diagnosed with the disorder. D-Will recently talked with reporters about D.J., and how their relationship has led to his partnership with Autism Speaks.
“The cause is near and dear to my heart,” Deron said. “I have a son who is autistic. I have a strong relationship with Autism Speaks, I’m an ambassador for them, and a lot of my foundation work is with them. We have a great partnership and this is just a great week to raise awareness.”
After helping to tip-off Autism Awareness Month in Manhattan on Monday, D-Will was back in Brooklyn on Tuesday, where he helped deliver a Nets win at the Barclays Center. He then returned to Manhattan on Wednesday, where the Nets officially rang in April with a win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Deron will visit the Empire State Building to light it up blue on Thursday, then he’ll be back on the floor Friday night in Brooklyn to face the Toronto Raptors.
The cross-borough tour is helping D-Will get the word out about Autism Awareness. There’s no better stage to promote the cause than New York, and Deron is happy to have the platform he does to spread the word.
“It has definitely expanded since I’ve come to New York,” D-Will said of his autism awareness efforts. “My partnership with Autism Speaks started when I got here and it has only grown. My foundation has grown, and the amount of people we’re able to reach has grown because of this market.”