Autism Light: Jim Calhoun
Jim Calhoun is the long time Men’s Head Basketball Coach for the University of Connecticut. He lives in Connecticut and has two grandchildren with autism. Jim Calhoun is an Autism Light because he has become a spokesperson for autism awareness.
Jim Calhoun has over 850 wins in college basketball. In 2005 he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. On April 4, 2011 he won his third National Championship as a coach with the University of Connecticut. The others came in 1999 and 2004. This third championship puts him in a group with only four other coaches in history who have accomplished this feat.
Jim Calhoun’s granddaughter Reese and grandson Sam have autism. In honor of his two special needs grandchildren he has in recent years become a spokesperson for autism awareness. He won the 2010 Distinguished Public Service Award from the Source).
The following is the video where Jim Calhoun is speaking at the Connecticut state capital for Autism Awareness Day in 2008.
Jim Calhoun wears an autism awareness lapel pin every day to help him advocate. Jim Calhoun said regarding the pin, “Everybody asks me what the pin is for, and they get half an hour. If they don’t like it they get an hour (Source).”
Jim Calhoun began raising awareness for autism research through Autism Speaks in 2006. In 2011 he produced the following Public Service Announcement for Walk Now for Autism Speaks.
Some online articles on Jim Calhoun’s activism for autism can be found a these links.
Special thanks to Jim Calhoun for spreading autism awareness and being a light for autism. He has continued to fight for autism despite himself having cancer in both 2003 and 2008 as well as another undisclosed health problem in 2010. Good luck this season on the court and off the court as you continue to raise awareness for autism.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.
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