"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.
What people are saying about CENTERED
“Centered is a captivating and uplifting story about pursuing dreams, pushing through difficult times, and reaching one’s full potential. Anthony Ianni’s story show what can happen when young people and their families hold themselves to the highest standard of accountability.”
-Nick Saban, Head Football Coach, University of Alabama
“Anthony Ianni is such an inspirational success story, and his new book provides tremendous motivation and practical experience in how to adapt, overcome and achieve, despite the obstacles. Anthony's story provides a thoughtful and influential guide to doing your best and being your best self, no matter what.”
-Jay Bilas ESPN & CBS Basketball Analyst
“Everyone will benefit from reading Anthony's first-hand account of living life on the autism spectrum. They say you can never judge a book by its cover, and he is the perfect example of that. You look from the outside and he is a tall, athletic, accomplished athlete, husband and father. You assume his struggles have been minimal, which in fact could not be more inaccurate. He has, with the tireless efforts from his family and friends, overcome daily struggles to live a "normal" life, and he continues to do so with great resiliency. His willingness to be the face of autism is brave, and this book shows you what that REALLY means."
-Allie LaForce NBA on TNT Sideline Reporter
About the author
Anthony Ianni played basketball at Michigan State University from 2009 to 2012 and was the first Division I college basketball player known to be on the autism spectrum. He now tours the country as a motivational speaker. He lives with his wife and two sons in Livonia, Michigan.
Rob Keast grew up in Lapeer, Michigan. He studied journalism at Michigan State University. Rob has written for newspapers in Michigan and Illinois, and he has taught English in Tokyo, Japan. Since 2004, Rob has taught high school English in Wyandotte, Michigan. Rob has a teenage daughter.