Former MSU Basketball Star Anthony Ianni to Speak at OCC About Autism and Bullying

RelentlessTour_Page_1Auburn Hills Student LIFE invites you to hear former Michigan State Basketball player Anthony Ianni about his work to eradicate bullying.

Ianni, who was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (ASD) at age 4, will speak at 6 p.m., April 8, 2015, in Room G240 of the Auburn Hills Campus, 2900 Featherstone Road.

“Bullying can affect everybody today, including people with autism,” said Ianni, now a departmental analyst with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. “A stat most people don’t know is that 65-90% of kids with Autism are the prime target for bullies. I myself was one of those victims when I was younger and it continued until I was a freshman in high school. After I heard this stat I knew I had to take action!”

Doctors told Anthony’s parents he would barely graduate from high school or college, or have a shot at being an athlete and would likely live in a group institution with ASD as an adult.

His family pledged to help Anthony succeed. Despite bullies, adversity and numerous personal challenges, Anthony never gave up. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Sociology, he is the first known athlete with autism to play Big 10 basketball.

Anthony played for legendary coach Tom Izzo while at MSU. He won two Big Ten Championships, a Big Ten Tournament Title, was the recipient of the 2011 Tim Bograkos Walk On Award and the 2012 Unsung Player Award, and was also a member of the 2010 Final Four team. Anthony has pledged his life and career to help those who face similar challenges to inspired individuals to “LYD”- Live Your Dreams.

This event is proudly co-sponsored by AH Student LIFE, Diversity Committee and the Athletics Department. OCC Auburn Hills Optimist Club will be fundraising for Autism Alliance of Michigan at the event through the sales of green and blue dog tag necklaces featuring autism awareness messages. Necklaces may also be purchased  from an Optimist Club member at their meetings at 3 p.m. in the AH campus cafeteria or at the Auburn Hills Student LIFE office. Suggested minimum donation is $1.

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