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Anti-bullying advocate to speak to kids, community in Cleveland County

posted Sep 9, 2015, 12:57 PM by Greg Shull   [ updated Sep 10, 2015, 1:36 PM ]
Anthony Ianni will speak at the Cleveland County Schools Central Services on September 16th to share his message on eradicating bullying.

Ianni will begin the day talking to students about bullying at Shelby Middle and Shelby High schools. He will then visit CCS Central Services at 3:30 p.m. to speak about bullying, Autism, and the heartbreaking combination of the two. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the CCS Central Services Staff Development Center.

Mr. Ianni will speak about bullying, especially bullies who target students with Autism. At the age of 4 Anthony was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Doctors and specialists told Anthony’s 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 likely live in a group institution with other Autistic kids for his adult life. His family was devastated but pledged they would help Anthony be successful no matter what.

Despite bullies, 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 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.