ATLANTA - A senior from North Hall High School in Gainesville will take part in the Atlanta Hawks' recognition of "World Autism Awareness Day" by trying to hit a mid-court shot at Saturday night's game between the Hawks and the Brooklyn Nets.
Nick Bennett served as the student manager for the Trojans' basketball team for four years. Bennett, who has autism, gained national attention after converting over 1,000 half court shots during his tenure with the team. At halftime of the Hawks-Nets game on April 4, Bennett will attempt a mid-court shot to net $10,000 for Autism Speaks. The Atlanta Hawks Foundation has pledged to make a minimum donation of $5,000, regardless of the outcome of Bennett’s shot.
“We are very proud to join teams around the NBA to participate in the eighth annual ‘World Autism Awareness Day,’” said David Lee, Hawks SVP of External Affairs and Executive Director of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation. “This initiative presents a great opportunity to engage the Atlanta community and rally behind a deserving cause.”
Also at Saturday night's game, Scott Gross, sports camp coach with the Wonder League, will be honored with the “Be Greater” award for his dedication to teaching special needs youth through sports. Sensations TheraFun, a sensory-based, indoor playground for children with special needs, operates the Wonder League and hosted a basketball clinic for children on the autism spectrum during NBA FIT Live Healthy Week in January. Hawks center Elton Brand, an advocate for autism awareness, attended the basketball clinic and will participate in a meet and greet with guests from Autism Speaks and Kulture City following Saturday’s game.