“Autism doesn’t define me,
who I am.”
- Anthony Ianni
Meet Anthony Ianni
“At the end of the day we don’t dream our lives, at the end of the day…..We live them!”
At the age of 4 Anthony was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS), which is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Doctors and specialists told Anthony’s parents that he would barely graduate high school, be an athlete, and never go to college. But more importantly he is here today to share with you a message about how to not only go out and be the change in life, but to also go out and make the change you wish to see in life.
And he is. Despite adversity, and numerous personal challenges Anthony worked hard and never gave up. Not only did he earn his Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Sociology he is the first athlete with autism to play NCAA Division One College 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.
"They don't know me. They don't know what I'm capable of."
Diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, as a toddler, Anthony Ianni wasn't expected to succeed in school or participate in sports, but he had other ideas. As a child, Ianni told anybody who would listen, including head coach Tom Izzo, that he would one day play for the Michigan State Spartans.
Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete's Dreams is the firsthand account of a young man's social, academic, and athletic struggles and his determination to reach his goals. In this remarkable memoir, Ianni reflects on his experiences with both basketball and the autism spectrum. Centered, an inspirational sports story in the vein of Rudy, reveals Ianni to be unflinching in his honesty, generous in his gratitude, and gracious in his compassion.
Sports fans will root for the underdog. Parents, teachers, and coaches will gain insight into the experience of an autistic child. And everyone will triumph in the achievements of Centered.
HEAR ANTHONY SPEAK
“Anthony loved sports ever since he was a little kid and he did not let autism hold him back. He was bullied and classes were really difficult for him. He succeeded in earning his degree and playing college basketball. When he talks to students at schools he tells them to chase every dream and to work hard."
-Temple Grandin, Author, Thinking in Pictures & The Way I See It
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