High School Basketball Sensation Reflects on Life with Autism

Kinney Center presents Jason McElwain for 8th annual awareness day

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Saint Joseph’s University’s Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support will feature a lecture by Jason McElwain to mark the University’s 8th Annual Autism Awareness Day, on Thursday, April 12.  McElwain made national headlines in 2006 when, as the manager of his high school basketball team, he was called off the bench to play in the final minutes of the game and scored twenty points.

The lecture, to be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena (located at 54th St. and Overbrook Ave.), is free, but registration is encouraged at kinneyautism.sju.edu. A reception will follow, along with tours of the Kinney Center.

Diagnosed with autism at a young age, McElwain was enrolled in special education classes as a child in his hometown of Greece, N.Y. Although he initially struggled in his interactions with other children, McElwain eventually developed strong social skills—as well as an interest in basketball. McElwain’s amazing plays in the final four minutes of his high school basketball game — six three-point shots and one two-point shot —captured the nation’s attention. Since then, McElwain has traveled the country, sharing his experiences with others, and helping to raise funds for autism research.  He has also co-authored a book, The Game of My Life.

“Jason is an inspirational young man,” says Michelle Rowe, Ph.D., executive director of the Kinney Center and professor of health services. “His story is one that calls attention to the many commonalities that we all share, despite our differences.”

About: With its roots in the Jesuit mission of service and cura personalis, or care for the whole person, the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support seeks to address the needs of those who struggle day-to-day with autism, either as individuals or caregivers. The mission of the Kinney Center is to provide multi-disciplinary education and research opportunities for students, teachers, professionals and parents who seek to improve and extend opportunities, outcomes, quality of life and best practices in treatment for people with ASD. The Kinney Center offers services, resources and information; support and guidance; and tools for public and individual advocacy that contribute to improved autism awareness and care.







Media Contact

Kelly Welsh, Director of Communications, College of Arts and Sciences, University Communications, 610-660-1385, kwelsh@sju.edu


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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