Former MSU Player Goes on Speaking Tour About Autism & Bullying
Did you know that Anthony Ianni has autism? Neither did we.
Anthony Ianni grew up near Lansing and says that he "always knew" that he was "different." He had an aide in school and went to a special classroom; he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at age 4.
He's played basketball since a young age; he used to watch the clock run out so he could cover his ears before the buzzer to block out the noise. Doctors told his parents not to "expect much" from him and that he'd end up in a group home. Their response? "Let's go prove those doctors wrong."
Anthony, who was over 6 feet tall by middle school, ended up playing basketball for Michigan State University, but he kept his autism a secret from his teammates.
He finally told the team after one of his teammates, Draymond Green, poked fun at him for something and Anthony took it VERY personally. After that, Green would talk to him about his diagnosis, trying to understand Anthony's perception of the world better. He calls Green a "blessing in disguise."
He's now on a statewide speaking tour in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to combat bullying in schools. Wanna sign up to have Anthony to YOUR school? Click HERE.