Big Game-Bigger Impact



As I sat in a condo in Destin, FL., sunburned but happy to be on UGA’s spring break, I  watched a basketball game that seemed like it would never end. I am sure some of you saw the game: Syracuse vs. Connecticut. The six over time game was the second longest basketball game ever and the longest Big East game of all time. To be honest I do not know that much about basketball, but the room of thirty plus staring contently at the 32″ screen was enough to draw my attention to the game.

Within moments of watching, I noticed something familiar that captured my attention. It was a blue glimmer on the University of Conneticuit’s head coach, Jim Calhoun’s  jacket. They showed him again and again. There it was, the AutismSpeaks’ puzzle piece. Coming off the high of just being at the Autism Speaks walk kick off in Atlanta; I was more encouraged then ever. Especially to learn that it was the most viewed conference game on ESPN this year! There was the puzzle piece that means so much to families and individuals affected by autism. It symbolizes hope and community togetherness for so many.

After doing some research on the hall of fame coach, Calhoun, I found that he has two gradchildren with autism.

According to an article found at NBC Sports, Calhoun has taken his story of how autism has affected his life public, by wearing his puzzle piece pin on his jacket everyday.

 On average 2,598,000 total viewers watched the 6 overtime game. Although Calhoun’s team did not win the game. Calhoun’s pin was seen by over 2.5 million people. Out of those people, 17, 320 people are affected by autism. That is  if we are going by the statistic, 1 out of 150 children are affected by autism in the U.S. If we consider the parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors and grandfathers like Calhoun; there are many more people affected by autism who were watching.  Hopefully more of the 2.5 million viewers were challenged and inspired by the puzzle piece they saw on the U Conn coach’s lapel and will begin asking, “what does that puzzle piece stand for?”

 Jim Calhoun on his family and autism awareness

One Response to “Big Game-Bigger Impact”
  1. rascates says:

    How cool!!

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