Anthony and some Michigan students (relentlesstour.com)

Relentlessly fighting bullying

Michigan State basketball alum Anthony Ianni is on a mission.

With sponsorship from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Anthony created the Relentless Tour, which works to fight bullying and promote a positive, inclusive, and resilient school environments in Michigan and beyond.

Anthony visited Ionia High School on Thursday, Feb. 16 to boost confidence, motivate, and explain to students how they can help put an end to bullying. Joining him was Ionia High School graduate and fellow Spartan Lt. Governor Brian Calley.

In Ionia, Anthony shared his personal story of how he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) at the age of four, which is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). He didn’t let what the doctors said get the best of him. After being bullied throughout his childhood because of his height and disorder, Anthony was told that he would barely graduate from high school and never graduate from college.

He was motivated to do the impossible and overcame adversity.

Defying the odds, he graduated from high school, and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Michigan State University– all while playing Division I basketball, winning two Big Ten Championships, a Big Ten Tournament Title and receiving multiple honors and awards.

“Anthony Ianni is making a huge difference in Michigan today and has a potential of impacting the anti-bullying movement all across the nation. He has overcome the struggles that come from growing up with and living with autism and is a role model today not just for kids with autism but for everybody and how you can really overcome obstacles, overcome challenges and really change the face of the planet,” — Lt. Governor Calley

The Relentless Tour has the goal of reaching at least 659 schools statewide. For information on how to bring Anthony to your school, visit www.relentlesstour.com/contact/.

— written by Jenna Tidey, Communications Intern