Deron Williams talks adjusting to New York, his foundation in Resident Magazine cover story

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams is the cover model on this month’s Resident Magazine, self-described as the “Monthly magazine for the affluent and culturally savvy Manhattanite.” In a feature by Rory Winston, Williams describes his adjustment to New York City life in his new TriBeCa home, as well as his commitment to Autism Speaks, the autism awareness foundation that has close ties to Williams and his family. Williams’s son D.J. was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old.

Some quotes from Williams:

On his foundation, Point Of Hope

Our causes range from juvenile diabetes to autism to cancer clinics. We give scholarships, host youth clubs and try to help low-income and homeless families. Once we had Christmas dinner for single moms and that really got to me. Don’t forget, I grew up with a single mom… A remarkable woman, a phenomenal mother.

On his son D.J.

We adopted D.J. and the two of us got very close. Actually, from all my kids, he’s the one who always liked being with me most — a real daddy’s boy. Anyway, at 18 months he gets diagnosed with autism and I’m like wow! I heard of it but what exactly is there to do?

With autism, families live through different stages… First, there’s denial. ‘Not my kid!’ You know, so many refuse to have their kid tested. But that’s the single most important thing to do. they need to get in there and give it their all. The earlier people know, the faster they can do something positive.

On being a New Yorker

I’m not going to lie. I don’t really feel so much like a New Yorker. I grew up in an apartment in Texas where you could send your kids outside like ‘yeah, go play in the sun.’ Here it’s more challenging. The process of getting them into school is a nightmare. Even private schools where you pay are an ordeal. In Utah, you just send your kids to the first public school in the area because they’re all great. Truth is, we enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle and going back to Utah every summer. It’s a relief to take that timeout. No traffic. No crowds. My daughters still have their friends there. There’s a big backyard. They go to the pool; the playground and they jump on the trampoline. Kids running wild and free here (in New York)…? I don’t think so.

On what makes a New Yorker

Taking the subway… which, by the way, I love to take. Yes, of course I have a chauffeured car but the subway is way faster. Second thing is the New York/Brooklyn accent — which I don’t have. Third thing is New Yorkers are tough. Or at least they think they are.

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