Mavs point guard Deron Williams was featured today on the National Basketball Players Association’s site for his involvement in April’s National Autism Awareness Month.
Williams has been involved in the month’s efforts for years now, including hosting an Autism Awareness Night at American Airlines Center earlier this month. Click here to read the full story.
Prominently featured in the article is Williams’ six-year-old son, D.J., who was diagnosed with autism when he was 18 months old. Deron and his wife Amy adopted D.J., in addition to raising their three other children: Deron Jr., Daija, and Denae.
The article begins with a heartwarming story about Deron watching Game 4 of the playoffs with D.J. in the locker room. Deron had suffered a setback just moments before, forcing him to exit the game and, ultimately, ending his season. Dejected, he sat in the locker room.
According to the story:
But a special guest and surprise moment, behind closed doors and away from the cameras, gave Williams the best distraction he needed in his state of dejection.
His wife, Amy, who was in attendance in Dallas, brought their six-year-old son named D.J., who has autism, to the locker room so he could watch the game with his father. It was a rare occurrence, and Williams was in awe that D.J. knew every player as he cheered for each one. D.J. also read off every player’s name when he walked by each of their lockers, like ‘That’s Wes Matthews! He’s iron man!”
The article’s author, Jared Zwerling, reports D.J. is now doing much better in school and doesn’t even need to visit doctors anymore. That’s terrific news.
Aside from his involvement with National Autism Awareness Month and the organization Autism Speaks, Williams’ own foundation, The Point of Hope, is heavily involved in raising awareness and funds for those affected by autism. He’s hosted a “Dodge Barrage” fundraiser and tournament in years past, and Zwerling reports the event will take place in Dallas this September. This year he’s also considering adding an art show, having developed an interest in pop, abstract, and figurative art while living in New York City.
Williams’ and his team’s season might have ended earlier than they’d hoped, but members of this organization continue to be a tremendously positive influence in the community, and Williams is certainly no exception.