Anthony Ianni is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the country. He is an inspiration to those in the autism community around the world.
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 and never go to college. They even told them he would never be athletic and would likely be institutionalized when he reached adulthood. His family was devastated but pledged they would help Anthony be successful no matter what.
Despite adversity and numerous personal challenges, Anthony worked hard and never gave up. He was awarded a basketball scholarship from Michigan State University (MSU) and earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Anthony also became the first known athlete with autism in NCAA history to play Division One basketball. He had the honor of playing for the legendary Coach Tom Izzo and was a part of two Big Ten Championships and a Big Ten Tournament title. In 2010, he was a member of MSU’s Final Four team. He also was the recipient of the Tim Bograkos Walk On Award in 2011 and Unsung Player Award in 2012.
As a speaker, Anthony has won several awards for his work. In 2013, he was a finalist for the Detroit Pistons Game Changer Award and received the Epling Agent of Change Award in 2014. He was one of Autism Speaks’ “10 Individuals Who Inspired in 2014,” and recognized in CBS News National list of “Inspiring People on the Autism Spectrum.” In 2015, he received the BOOM Athlete of the Year Award and in 2016, the Autism Support of West Shore “You Make a Difference” Award.
Anthony’s career has led him to build relationships with political and civic leaders; including school administrators across the country, national autism advocates, sports figures, and many media professionals. These relationships have helped Anthony to cultivate a large and loyal following. His career and his life story have reached heights he never could have anticipated. He is regularly asked to speak at colleges and universities, autism conferences/events, and transition conferences. Universities that have invited Anthony to speak include Texas A&M, the University of Kansas, Michigan State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Towson University, Oakland University and Northern Illinois University. He has been the featured speaker at a wide variety of conferences and autism-related events including: The Rooney Golf Foundation Luncheon, the Autism Speaks Game Changer Gala in New York City, the Autism Speaks Chip In for Autism event in Chicago, the Midsouth Autism Conference in Nashville, the University of Central Florida’s CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) Conference in Orlando, the Texas Transition Conference in Houston, the Milestones Autism Conference in Cleveland, the Autism Society of Iowa Autism Conference, the Love and Autism Conference in San Diego, and the Michigan Autism Conference.
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