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A Minnesota Timberwolves Player Hosts Fraser Families with Autism at a Game

On Sunday, February 4, a few lucky Fraser children, teens, and families with autism, received free tickets to a Minnesota Timberwolves game, followed by a meet and greet with Timberwolves small forward Kyle Anderson.

The attendees sat together in a section at Target Center and were supported by Fraser Sensory Support volunteers and staff. A private suite was also available, where Fraser Sensory Supports and Training Program Manager Gina Brady supported families who needed to take a break from the noise and crowd. The group enjoyed a Timberwolves win, as the team beat the Houston Rockets 111-90.

The night was inspired by Kyle’s commitment to raising awareness and increasing support for children and families with autism. For Kyle and his wife Crystal, this commitment is personal. Their son Kameron, who just turned 4, has autism.

“When we learned our son was diagnosed with being on the spectrum, a lot of mixed emotions went through our heads because there is a stigma to autism,” Kyle said. “But me as an NBA player, if I am able to stand out here and represent my son being on the spectrum and us getting the proper care for him, it might help other families be comfortable embracing what being on the spectrum is. Then they might be more comfortable getting [their] son or daughter the proper help.”

Kameron is in therapy services, including occupational therapy, and Kyle said he has been doing great.

“I [travel] a lot, being in the NBA. When I come home, I feel he has learned so much more in school and with his occupational therapy. It is really emotional for me,” Kyle said. “I came home the other day, and he asked me a question. That was the first time he’s ever asked me a question.”

Following the game, Kyle and his family hosted a meet and greet with the Fraser families. Each child received a custom t-shirt from Kyle, which said “slowmo crew.” Kyle is nicknamed “SlowMo” because of his slow-motion, deliberate style of playing basketball, which makes him a good team player.

Kyle signed stuffed animals and t-shirts and took photos with all the children, teens, and families. He also answered questions ranging from when he started playing basketball — at the age of 5 — to how he deals with Minnesota winters.

“I’ve learned to embrace the cold,” Kyle said, smiling. He also generously donated the shirt and shoes he was wearing to young fans at the meet and greet.

When asked why he helped put together this night for families with autism, Kyle said, “I want them to know that I’m with them on this journey. When I leave the NBA court and go home, I’m on the same journey as them and fighting the same battle as them. I’m trying to [help] my son grow, learn, and become a productive member of society. And I hope that gives them a little bit of comfort.”

Kyle attended UCLA and played 4 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before signing with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2018. After four seasons with the Grizzlies, he signed with the Timberwolves, and this year marks his 10th Season in the NBA. He was born in Fairview, NJ.

Fraser and all the families who attended are so grateful to Kyle, his family, and the Minnesota Timberwolves for their generosity.