Digital Mag Issues
Coverboy Nick Mason Featured on VYPE Partner Comcast Sports Net
January 31, 2013By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
Atascocita's Nick Mason Featured on COMCAST SPORTS NET
By Matt Malatesta
From elementary school and through junior high, Nick Mason, who has Asperger's Syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder), has been picked on, picked last and ridiculed. But he and Team Mason are having the last laugh.
The pain that parents go through when their child is attacked, left out and or embarrassed is excruciating, especially during adolescence and the teen-age years when kids are especially mean.
"Someone with Asperger's has to go through the pain and failure to succeed," mom Sybil Mason says. "We have all been through it with him, but it's the only way he really learns."
That is powerful.
Sybil and Donald Mason met in Germany when both were playing professional basketball after their college careers ended at Stephen F. Austin and Fresno State, respectively. The couple was married, relocated to California and back to Texas, before they began having children. First came Nick, then Noah, who is a sixth-grader.
Donald grew up in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles and took his hoop skills to Fresno State. After a solid four years in college, he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. An injury led to him getting cut and off to Europe he travelled. All the while, he had been challenged with Asperger's, which is passed on by the male gene. He got it from his father and he passed it on to Nick. Noah, however, is not affected.
"Back then, I was just thought of as weird," he says. "I had some friends through basketball, but the things I did were just awkward. I just became tremendously focused on basketball and let my play define me. People with Asperger's have to like themselves first, and that is what I instill in Nick."