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Deron Williams on autism awareness, giving back ...and being a father


Yahoo! Sports runs features about athletes off the court or field on its "The Post Game" page. There's little to no discussion of the athletes' "business," more about his or her efforts outside the spotlight.  On Thursday, "Post Game" is about Deron Williams, his life as the father of an autistic child and how it's affected his life.

The occasion of course is Williams annual DodgeBarrage event, a celebrity dodgeball tournament at Basketball City. On Monday afternoon, the court will be be filled with other athletes who've come to help him raise funds and awareness primarily for autism issues.

But the article is more about life in the Williams household and how he copes with balancing a career as a high profile athlete and father of D.J. (Deron Jr.), his adopted son who was diagnosed with autism in 2011.

"I didn't want to believe it," Williams says. "We thought he might have just had hearing issues when he wasn't looking at us. We had his hearing checked. He was having nose bleeds, so we thought he might be having neurological damage."

He puts aside his other duties when he gets home, writer Jeffery Eisenband notes. "I work out in the morning," Williams says. "When D.J. comes home, we just hang out around the house, go to the movies and stuff. I play golf when I can, but sometimes, I can't play golf."

Eisenband also writes about last year's Autism Speaks event at Barclays where D-Will brought 65 autistic children and their families to the arena for a game. He donated his suite and got others to donate theirs so the families had  a safe environment and the children had some room to roam.

What's he looking forward to at this year's DodgeBarrage? More of his friends and guests break a sweat!