NBA veteran Tony Snell, absent from NBA action since the 2021-22 season, has been playing for the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate, for the second consecutive season. Snell, a first-round draft pick in 2013, is not only aspiring to return to the NBA’s top tier but is fueled by a more profound purpose – providing for his sons, both diagnosed with autism.
Seeking a Return with a Bigger Purpose
Snell expressed his desire to return to the NBA, emphasizing that his motivation extends beyond personal accomplishment. His primary focus is now on supporting his two sons, both diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The 2013 first-round pick was not only driven by the pursuit of playing but also by a mission to secure a better future for his family.
Importance of the 10th Year of Service
To achieve eligibility for the Players Association Union’s premium medical plan upon retirement, Snell needs to be signed to an NBA active roster by Friday and remain signed for the remainder of the season, reaching a milestone 10th year of service. The premium medical plan would cover Snell’s entire family, addressing the medical needs of his two sons with autism.
Personal Connection to Autism
Snell’s younger son, Karter diagnosed with autism, leading Snell to explore the possibility that he, too, falls on the autism spectrum. His diagnosis at the age of 31 brought clarity and a sense of relief, explaining his lifelong sense of being different. The premium medical plan becomes crucial for meeting the specific healthcare requirements of his family.
Mentorship in the G League
While playing for the Maine Celtics, Snell has embraced a mentorship role, guiding and sharing his knowledge with younger teammates. Despite the age gap, Snell finds joy in assisting and inspiring the next generation of players.
Advocacy and Inspiration
Partnering with the Special Olympics, Snell has made it his mission to be a role model for his son and others facing similar challenges. His advocacy extends beyond the basketball court, aiming to change lives, inspire people, and create a supportive environment for those with autism.
Averaging Success on and off the Court
Throughout his NBA career, Tony Snell has averaged 6.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. However, his impact reaches beyond statistics as he strives to make a difference in the lives of his family and those he inspires with his journey.