UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Coach Morrison Leads NBA Autism Acceptance Campaign

Apr 1, 2024, 12:00 PM

Scott Morrison, assistant coach of the Utah Jazz...

Scott Morrison, assistant coach of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz assistant coach Scott Morrison is spearheading a league-wide campaign to encourage Autism acceptance.

Beginning April 2, coaches across the league will wear customized Nike Air Force 1s to generate awareness and acceptance for individuals with autism.

Each pair of Nikes will be painted with team colors and a rainbow infinity symbol, which represents the neurodiversity paradigm.

Autism acceptance shoes designed by JSM 801 Customs, a Salt Lake City-based design studio.

Autism acceptance shoes designed by JSM 801 Customs, a Salt Lake City-based design studio. (Photo: Utah Jazz)

Related: How The Utah Jazz Have Celebrated World Autism Day

The symbol is also the logo for “To the Max Foundation,” a nonprofit founded by Morrison and his wife, Susanne, in honor of their four-year-old son Max, who was diagnosed with autism in 2022.

Morrison first launched the campaign by asking a handful of NBA coaches, including the Jazz’s Will Hardy to wear the Nikes to bring recognition to the cause.

Word spread across the NBA of the coaches’ participation, and quickly became a league-wide effort.

“It’s just been very humbling,” Morrison said. “It just makes you feel very grateful to work here.”

After his son’s diagnosis, Morrison and Susanne got in touch with former Jazzman Joe Ingles and his wife Renee who were prominent activists for autism awareness during their time in Utah.

The Ingles are parents to three children, including twins Jacob and Milla who were born in 2016. In 2019, Jacob was diagnosed with Autism.

 

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“Renee connected Susanne to some people when we first moved here,” Morrison said. “We owe them a lot.”

The Jazz will celebrate World Autism Day when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers by welcoming guests from the Autism Council of Utah and Columbus Community Center at the game.

Hardy will wear the custom Nikes against the Cavaliers, and again when the Jazz face the Golden State Warriors on April 7.

Before joining Hardy’s staff with the Jazz, Morrison led the Salt Lake City Stars in the G League, was an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics from 2017-21 under Brad Stevens, and was the head coach of the Celtics’ NBA G League affiliate the Maine Red Claws between 2014-17.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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