Memoir by first openly Autistic Division I basketball player

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
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25 Nov 2021, 11:01 am

Book reveals what it's like to play big-time college basketball with autism

Quote:
Former Michigan State University basketball player Anthony Ianni has taken his experience overcoming adversity as the first Division I college basketball player to openly identify himself as being on the autism spectrum and turned it into a memoir.

In “Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete’s Dreams,” written alongside Rob Keast, Ianni recalls how his childhood diagnosis forged his path. Upon learning he had autism, Ianni experienced bullying and was told he’d likely be unable to finish high school or play sports at all.

“They don't know me. They don't know what I'm capable of," Ianni wrote.

During his 2011-12 senior season, Michigan State won the Big Ten tournament, reaching the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament before losing to Louisville.

“My teammates asked more and more questions about what autism is,” Ianni told The Guardian. “The coaching staff asked what autism is. They wanted to know more.

Now a Michigan State graduate, Ianni — who is a husband and father of two — works as a motivational speaker, detailing his challenges and accomplishments.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman