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Deron Williams’ leadership on display
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 22, 2013 @ 1:00 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — Deron Williams embraced April, an important month for the All-Star guard on and off the court.
As the face of the Brooklyn Nets, Williams led a major professional sports franchise from the New York borough to the playoffs for the first time since 1956, when the Brooklyn Dodgers played the New York Yankees in the World Series at Ebbets Field.
He had 22 points and seven assists and led the Nets to a 106-89 victory against the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series. Game 2 is Monday (8 p.m. ET, TNT).
“This has been a long time coming for this franchise, for this organization, with the move and everything,” Williams said of the Nets, who relocated from nearby New Jersey at the start of this season.
This month, Williams is also the face of Autism Speaks as its ambassador during Autism Awareness month. Nearly two years ago, his son D.J. was diagnosed with the disorder, and Williams has made it a point to educate and raise funds for research.
“As a parent with a child with autism, it’s been really tough to experience your child having autism,” Williams told USA TODAY Sports. “Parents might see some symptoms, but they just put it off because they don’t want their child to be different. But they’re really hurting their child in the long run. The earlier you find out, the better.”
Williams may have fallen into that category, but his wife Amy was proactive.
“The toughest part was when we found out. That was the lowest point,” Williams said. “I was wondering ‘Is he going to be a normal kid? Is he going to be able to have a normal life and do all the things I got to do growing up?’ “
Deron and Amy adopted D.J. from an agency in Utah while Deron played for the Jazz. However, D.J. was born in Brooklyn at Maimonides Medical Center, the official hospital for the Nets.
His son’s autism played a role in Williams’ decision to remain in New York. D.J. attends a school for children with autism in Manhattan, and Williams said it … [For more on Deron Williams' leadership on display on and off court, click here.]
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