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MSU basketball star takes on bullying at Henry Ford College, Sept. 18


DEARBORN, MI, Sept. 3, 2019:  Former Michigan State University basketball star and motivational speaker Anthony Ianni will give an anti-bullying awareness presentation Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Henry Ford College in the Andrew A. Mazzara Administrative Services and Conference Center (Building L).


At age 4, Ianni was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is on the autism spectrum. Throughout his childhood, Ianni was relentlessly bullied by his peers. Numerous doctors and specialists told his parents that he would barely graduate from high school, would never graduate from college, would never have a shot at being an athlete, and would most likely live in a group home throughout his adult life.

Anthony Ianni


Ianni was determined to prove everyone wrong – and he did. Despite such overwhelming adversity, Ianni kept fighting and never gave up. He graduated from Okemos High School, where he played basketball. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from MSU.


“I proved every doctor and professional in my life wrong,” said Ianni.


At MSU, Ianni played basketball under legendary coach Tom Izzo and is the first known athlete with autism to play Big Ten Basketball. At MSU, he won two Big Ten Championships and a Big Ten Tournament title. He received the 2011 Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award, the 2012 Unsung Player Award, and was a member of the 2010 Final Four team.


“Bullying can affect everybody today, including people with autism. Most people don’t know that 65-90 percent of kids with autism are a prime target for bullies. I was one of those victims when I was younger, and it continued until I was a freshman in high school. After I learned these numbers, I knew I had to take action!” said Ianni.


Since he graduated from MSU, Ianni has become one of the most sought-after anti-bullying advocates in the state and the nation. His Relentless Tour, sponsored by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), is a grassroots initiative designed to eradicate bullying across Michigan and beyond. Ianni has pledged his career to helping those who are bullied and facing similar challenges to those he faced. He has inspired countless individuals to “LYD” – live your dreams.


The presentation is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the HFC Office of Campus Safety, the HFC Office of Student Activities, and the HFC Office of Student Compliance and Title IX. Learn how you can prevent bullying and support others at this presentation. Visit Ianni at http://relentlesstour.com.


For questions or more information, please contact HFC Student Activities Associate Mandy Earl at (313) 317-1756 or mlearl1@hfcc.edu.



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Revised: 09/03/19 20:11:07 -0700.




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