Anti-Bullying Rally Comes to Grand Blanc High School
Former MSU basketball star Anthony Ianni will visit Grand Blanc this Friday (02/15) as part of the 'Relentless Tour,' an anti-bullying initiative sponsored by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
Motivational speaker Anthony Ianni, a member of Michigan State University's 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams and the 2010 Final Four team, will speak to students at Grand Blanc High School East at 12:15 p.m.
Ianni was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 4 and was the victim of bullying as a child. He graduated from Michigan State University and became the first known individual with autism to play Division I college basketball. Under legendary MSU coach Tom Izzo, Ianni played with the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams, and the 2010 Final Four team. He has won many awards including MSU’s Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award, the 2012 MSU Unsung Player Award, and was named a 2013 Detroit Pistons Community Game Changer Finalist.
Through the Relentless Tour, Ianni and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights seek to raise awareness of autism and the problem of bullying. Students with autism are frequently targeted by bullies, with an estimated 65-90% of individuals with autism having been victims of bullying at some point in their lives.
“Bullying is something we must put an end to, not only in Michigan but across the country,” said Ianni. “Everyone is affected by bullying in some way and students with autism are at incredibly high risk to be victimized. Our hope is that through my story and spreading our message we can not only inspire kids to take a stand against bullying but also make bullies rethink their actions.”