Wednesday night, a few blocks away from the Garden where the Nets took on the Knicks, the Empire State Building was bathed in blue. It was a tribute to Autism Speaks, the worldwide autism awareness and medical research organization.
Deron Williams, the father of an autistic son, D.J., is increasing involved as an ambassador for the organization, shifting much of his Point of Hope Foundation's effort to the cause, taping messages about autism for NBA Cares and now doing something in conjunction with the Nets, hoping to create as he says "a special night for autistic families."
He's hosting 65 families affected by autism in the quieter suites at Barclays Center when the Nets play Atlanta on April 11. He's donated his own suite and getting other suite holders to do the same.
"There's different levels of the spectrum and some kids are bothered by loud noise and ruckus, and so if they can get in a setting where they can kind of be away from it, it makes it a little easier and allows the parents to relax a little bit more and just allow them to enjoy it," says Williams.
After the game, he will visit and take photos with the families. "It's just another way we can give back," Williams said humbly.