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 played professional basketball for 18 years. In his career he played for the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls. Internationally he played with the Chinese Basketball Association’s Sichuan Blue Whales and Italy’s Pallacanestro Cantu. 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. His autobiography, “No Malice: My Life in Basketball” was released in May 2018 with Triumph Publishing and a documentary on his life in basketball, “Ron Artest: The Quiet Storm” was released on Showtime in May 2019. World Peace is currently pursuing many entrepreneurial projects including the XvsXsports project which will launch to the general public in March 2020.
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. In fall 2010, World Peace raffled off his 2010 NBA World Championship Ring, with the proceeds going to his nonprofit, Xcel University (now known as Artest 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” in Fall 2010 by participating in a mental health training program and visiting schools which were a part of the Mental Health in Schools Act’s pilot program. World Peace has made several trips to Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. to speak with congressional members about the importance of mental health and ask them to support legislation and funding to increase mental health services for children.
Metta World Peace has participated in numerous PSA campaigns on behalf of mental health awareness with organizations such as LA County Department of Mental Health, the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and NAMI. World Peace continues to speak with school, community, and incarcerated groups of youth and adults on the importance of mental health and seeking help when one needs it.