About the Author
Born Ronald William Artest Jr. on Nov. 13, 1979, in Queensbridge, New York, Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace in September 2011, in an effort to encourage dialogue over physical violence, and promote good will toward all. He is the father of four children. World Peace was signed to a five-year contract by the LA Lakers as a free agent on July 8, 2009 and has been playing professional basketball in the NBA since 1999. He was selected to the 2005-06 NBA’s All-Defensive Team, was voted by the media as 2003-04 NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, and was the only man with 271 steals in his first two seasons in the NBA, breaking Michael Jordan’s record. He won his first NBA World Championship with the LA Lakers in June, 2010, and received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award – the NBA’s highest citizenship and community service honor – in April 2011. World Peace won his first World Championship ring on June 17th, 2010, after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. World Peace has remained an active contributor in his hometown and in cities of organizations for which he has played, and has worked simultaneously in global regions that require urgent humanitarian aid. He formed a nonprofit in August 2007, entitled “Xcel University,” to officially organize and streamline his charitable contributions and community endeavors under one umbrella. World Peace became a spokesman in the PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) A.B.C. (Animal Birth Control) campaign in 2007, which is ongoing today. In fall 2010, World Peace decided to raffle off his 2010 NBA World Championship Ring, with the proceeds going to his nonprofit, Xcel University. The online ring raffle, which concluded on December 25, 2010, raised $651,006. Funds raised through the ring raffle were donated to nonprofits that provide mental health therapists and mental health services to their communities, in cities including Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Cleveland, New York, Little Rock, AR and the central Tennessee region. World Peace also helped Congresswoman Napolitano launch "The Mental Health in Schools Act" and made visits to Washington, D.C. in February 2011 and February 2013 to encourage congressional members to vote for the Act, which would increase mental health services available for children. To stay current on what Metta World Peace is involved in, please visit www.mettaworldpeace.com and www.xceluniversity.org.