Tony Snell was recently diagnosed with Autism at 31

Tony Snell
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Former NBA and current G-League guard, Tony Snell recently found that his two-year-old son, Karter was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months. After that news, the nine-year veteran took it upon himself to get tested as well. Snell thought it was likely he might be on the autism spectrum, turns out he was.

“I’m like, ‘You know what, if he’s diagnosed [with autism], then I think I am [on the autism spectrum] too.’ So that gave me the courage to go get checked up,” Snell said. 

While growing up in California, Snell added that he was “always independent growing up. Always being alone. I just couldn’t connect with people on the personal side of things.”

So, when Tony Snell was diagnosed with Autism…he wasn’t surprised.

“I was not surprised, because I always felt different,” Snell said. “I was just relieved, like ‘Ah, this is why I am the way I am.’ It just made my whole life, everything about my life, make so much sense. It was like clarity, like putting some 3-D glasses on.”

Snell was originally selected with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2013 Draft by the Chicago Bulls. The swingman continued to play for many teams including the Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers.

This news comes in light of the Special Olympics World Games are set to take place in Berlin, Germany. Where many athletes were diagnosed with Autism at a young age. Throughout his career, Snell replicated what many Special Olympic athletes are all about… being accepted for who they are. Though, he did it at the highest level. Now, he just wants to be there to support his son.

“I want to make sure my son knows that I have his back,” Snell said. “When I was a kid, I felt different, but I can show him that I’m right here with you and we’re going to ride this thing together, we’re going to grow together and we’re going to accomplish a lot of things together.”

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