Former Michigan State basketball player and motivational speaker against bullying Anthony Ianni recently visited Holy Name Catholic School in Escanaba, Michigan to talk about how important it is to treat each other with respect. Ianni is a proud partner with the Autism Alliance of Michigan and travels to many places to speak about the condition which he himself had to overcome in order to achieve what he has in his life. The former Spartan spoke to the student body for about 90 minutes and gave them some useful tips, told a couple funny stories, and made them feel special as they listened to what he had to say. Ianni even made time to speak to a few students after the speech, to mentor them about what was going on in their lives.
Ianni is the son of two college athlete parents, but discovered when he was in high school that he had autism and that this would prevent him from excelling academically. He decided at that point to change his life and show everyone that they were wrong about him, which led him to not only graduate from high school in 2007 but to continue on to college and be a player on their basketball team. Ianni also emphasized how important it is to stop bullying in schools, because it is a terrible act that can only create hurt and sadness. Also, you never know who you bully will end up being. He shared a story with the kids about a time in college he came out to the parking lot only to see one of his former bullies from elementary school asking him for his autograph.
Overall his time with the kids in Escanba was extremely successful, and all of the students felt that they would remember what he said and use his advice in the future.
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Watch Anthony Ianni Speaking about his Disability: