Anthony Ianni was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, as a toddler. And this was back in the early 90s, when autism wasn’t really a thing anyone knew anything about. As a result, Anthony was told he wasn’t going to succeed in school or sports, but he said “nah, I’m not gonna listen to that.”
Instead, when he was eight years old, Anthony told coach Tom Izzo he was going to play for the Michigan State Spartans. A decade later, he was suiting up and winning all the accolades that come from playing at a prestigious school. Since graduating, Anthony has become an award-winning speaker, traveling all over the place (but the fun kind, not the illegal basketball kind) to share his story and inspire others.
He’s also channeled that story into Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete's Dreams, his new book (releasing September 7). Some have called the book a modern-day Rudy, but let’s be real: Anthony is impressive enough on his own.