‣ Tony Snell is aiming for a return to the NBA, not only to continue playing at the top level but also for a bigger purpose related to his family, particularly his two sons who have autism. This return is crucial for securing a 10th year of service, which would make him eligible for the Players Association Union’s premium medical plan, benefiting his family.
‣ Snell has taken on a mentor role with the Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League affiliate, where he plays alongside teammates significantly younger than him. He expresses enjoyment in sharing his knowledge and experiences, aiming to inspire and assist his younger colleagues in their professional and personal growth.
‣ After discovering that both his son and he himself are on the autism spectrum, Tony Snell has become an advocate for autism awareness. He has shared his story publicly to bring clarity and understanding to his life and to inspire others facing similar challenges. Snell is partnering with the Special Olympics and aims to be a role model for his children and others with autism.
Tony Snell needs to sign with an NBA team by Friday in order to compile a 10th year of service for the players association’s retiree benefits program, per @YahooSports
This plan is crucial for his family, including two sons with autism. “It’s something I truly need,” says…
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral)
Tony Snell, you recall him? It feels like ages since he last graced an NBA court. Specifically, it’s been almost two years. Back then, he clocked in a total of 53 matches across the Pelicans and the Trail Blazers during the 2021/2022 season.
Now, the scene’s quite different for him. He’s dribbling his way through his second consecutive season with the Maine Celtics. That’s Boston’s G League team, by the way. Despite his veteran status, he’s eyeing a comeback to the NBA. Why? Because he’s not done playing at the pinnacle of his profession.
But there’s more to it than just ambition. At 32, Snell’s got a deeper motive for wanting back in the big league. “Of course, I wanna come back and play, but it’s bigger than me now,” he spilled to the press this week. “It’s about my boys.”
Here’s the kicker: Snell’s racing against time to sign with an NBA team by Friday. This isn’t just for kicks. It’s to secure a 10th year of service. That’s crucial for snagging the Players Association’s retiree benefits program, as per @YahooSports. Why the rush? It’s all for his family, including two sons with autism. “It’s something I truly need,” he admits.
The stakes? High. The goal? To land a spot on an active roster for the remainder of the season by Friday. Achieving this would mean eligibility for the Players Association Union’s top-notch medical plan upon retirement. This isn’t just for him. It’s a lifeline for his entire family, especially his two sons recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. “Not only for myself,” Tony emphasizes, “but for my wife and my kids.”
Last year, Tony’s life took a turn when his two-year-old son, Karter, was diagnosed with autism. That led Tony down a path of self-discovery. “I’m like, ‘You know what, if he’s diagnosed, then I think I am too.’” That realization pushed him to get checked, a decision he shared last summer.
The diagnosis? It explained a lot for Tony. “I was not surprised because I always felt different,” he confessed. “It was just relief, like, ‘Oh, this why I am the way I am.’” It was as if his entire life suddenly snapped into focus, offering him clarity and understanding.
Now, let’s shift gears a bit. Snell’s not just playing in the G League; he’s shaping the future. Despite being a newbie in Maine, he’s found joy in mentoring teammates nearly a decade his junior. “I want to share my knowledge with the young guys,” Snell says. “I have enjoyment from helping them out.”
Back in June, on the Today show, Tony opened up about his mission. It’s not just about basketball. It’s about being a role model for his children and others with autism. Partnering with the Special Olympics, he’s set on changing lives. “I want to make sure my son knows that I have his back,” Tony shared. “We’re going to ride this thing together, grow together, and accomplish a lot of things together.”