Former MSU basketball star speaks to middle school students abou - WNEM TV 5

Former MSU basketball star speaks to middle school students about bullying

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CARROLLTON, MI (WNEM) -

Bullying is a problem in a lot of schools and Anthony Ianni wants to put an end to it. Ianni himself was a former victim of bullying.

“I was, you talk about my 6'9 height. I was bullied as a kid because of my height because i was bigger than everybody else. When I was 13 years old, I was 6 feet tall,” Ianni said.

The former Michigan State basketball star travels across the country talking to students, hoping to make a difference.

Students at Carrollton Middle School said that they believe he is spreading an important message. They also hope it will help overcome bullying and other obstacles.

“It happens too much, kids get picked on by how they look or how they act, you are just the same as them,” said student Ty Jarvis. “You get dressed the same, you go to school the same, everybody the same. No point in picking on someone.”

The students at Carrollton Middle School said one big issue right now is cyber bullying.

Principal Marc McKenzie said when it comes to that kind of issue, speaking up is key.

“The biggest thing is to keep the lines of communication open. Anthony is talking in there, about your family, being able to communicate with your family, those people that you can go to, have go to people is a big step,” McKenzie said.

Ianni said that his main goal is to make a change in schools. He knows it's not always easy, along with being bullied, as a child, he was also diagnosed with autism. He said he got through it by setting goals and being a leader.

“Obviously stand up for others, if you see someone else being bullied, it's your job to step up as a leader and not be a bystander. That is one thing Tom Izzo, my coach at Michigan State, taught me is to be a leader, no matter what,” Ianni said.

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