Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete's Dreams
Published by: Red Lightning Books
"They don't know me. They don't know what I'm capable of." Diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, as a toddler, Anthony Ianni wasn't expected to succeed in school or participate in sports, but he had other ideas. As a child, Ianni told anybody who would listen, including head coach Tom Izzo, that he would one day play for the Michigan State Spartans.
Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete's Dreams is the firsthand account of a young man's social, academic, and athletic struggles and his determination to reach his goals. In this remarkable memoir, Ianni reflects on his experiences with both basketball and the autism spectrum. Centered, an inspirational sports story in the vein of Rudy, reveals Ianni to be unflinching in his honesty, generous in his gratitude, and gracious in his compassion.
Sports fans will root for the underdog. Parents, teachers, and coaches will gain insight into the experience of an autistic child. And everyone will triumph in the achievements of Centered.
Foreword, by Tom Izzo
Prologue: The Bres
1. "We Are Okemos"
2. The Diagnosis
3. That Anthony Kid
4. Talking to Nobody
5. Pushing My Buttons
7. Grandpa Nick
8. Hating to Lose
9. On the Banks of the Red Cedar
10. "Do Those Impressions"
11. "We Want to Tell You a Story"
15. Instant Classic
17. On Campus
18. The Streak
19. Sophomore Slump
21. Getting Back Up
22. Sitting Out
23. The Jersey
24. "I'm Screwed Up"
25. The Carl Vinson and the Garden
26. The Big Ten
27. Tournaments and Awards
Both authors did an amazing job in writing a book that is a definite resource for parents, students, schools, hospital workers and everyone to understand Autism Spectrum.~Fran Lewis, Book Pleasures
Centered is a captivating and uplifting story about pursuing dreams, pushing through difficult times, and reaching one's full potential. Anthony Ianni's story shows what can happen when young people and their families hold themselves to the highest standard of accountability.~Nick Saban, Head Football Coach, University of Alabama
Anthony Ianni is such an inspirational success story, and his new book provides tremendous motivation and practical experience in how to adapt, overcome and achieve, despite the obstacles. Anthony's story provides a thoughtful and influential guide to doing your best and being your best self, no matter what.~Jay Bilas, ESPN College Basketball Analyst
Anthony loved sports ever since he was a little kid and he did not let autism hold him back. He was bullied and classes were really difficult for him. He succeeded in earning his degree and playing college basketball. When he talks to students at schools, he tells them to chase every dream and to work hard.~Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures
Everyone will benefit from reading Anthony's first-hand account of living life on the autism spectrum. They say you can never judge a book by its cover, and he is the perfect example of that. You look from the outside and he is a tall, athletic, accomplished athlete, husband and father. You assume his struggles have been minimal, which in fact could not be more inaccurate. He has, with the tireless efforts from his family and friends, overcome daily struggles to live a 'normal' life, and he continues to do so with great resiliency. His willingness to be the face of autism is brave, and this book shows you what that REALLY means.~Allie LaForce, Sports Reporter, TNT
Anthony Ianni's story reminds me of my journey growing up. It was very inspirational and encouraging to know that I am not the only one. With all of the hard work and great support of family, kids like us can accomplish anything we want to do in life. Anthony's story is a great example of how to navigate difficult issues in life while being impacted by autism.~Armani Williams, first NASCAR driver with Autism