Tufts Men's Basketball to Participate in Autism Awareness Day

Tufts Men's Basketball to Participate in Autism Awareness Day

Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information

MEDFORD, Mass. - One of Tufts’ own, alumnus Pat Skerry A92, head coach of men’s basketball at Towson University, along with Tom Herrion of Marshall University started a national campaign last year to highlight autism awareness in NCAA basketball.

Both Skerry and Herrion have sons on the autism spectrum.  They reached out to over 80 coaches nationwide to join them.  Continuing this year, Coaches Powering Forward for Autism, is February 7, in a partnership with Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy group.

As basketball teams across the country take part in this awareness building event on Feb. 7, the Jumbos will do their part when they host Williams at Cousens Gymnasium. Game time is 2 pm.

This is also an opportunity to raise critical funds for the autism research at Tufts University School of Medicine.

People are encouraged to participate in this autism awareness day in college basketball by making a gift to autism research at Tufts online at giving.tufts.edu/med.

For more information contact Roxanne Beal at roxanne.beal@tufts.edu or (617) 636-2417.

Several members of the Department of Neuroscience at Tufts University School of Medicine who are studying the underlying causes and mechanisms of autism will be introduced at the game during halftime, led by Dr. Phillip Haydon, the Annetta and Gustav Grisard Professor and Chair of the department.

The Department of Neuroscience is committed to a rigorous research program in autism and its related conditions including epilepsy, sleep and mood disorders, and anxiety.  It is taking a multi-faceted and collaborative approach to break new ground in understanding the causes of autism, and to develop new treatments for better quality of life for people on the autism spectrum.

"I am thrilled that autism research is a priority at Tufts my alma mater," Skerry said.  "Research like what is done at Tufts is so important in determining what causes autism. The numbers today are staggering. One in 68 children are diagnosed with autism.  We established Coaches Powering Forward for Autism to raise awareness for this cause. It is also very important to continue to fund the vital research that is done at Tufts."