Our Team

Metta World Peace

Chairman of the board

Metta World Peace was born William Artest Jr. on Nov. 13, 1979, in Queensbridge, New York. He changed his name in September 2011 in an effort to inspire love, kindness, goodwill towards all. Metta is a NBA World Champion, entrepreneur, philanthropist and mental health advocate. He has participated in numerous Mental Health Awareness campaigns and shared his own experiences in his documentary “Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story.” Metta serves on Congresswoman Napolitano’s Mental Health Task Force and has worked with many organizations to reduce the stigma surrounding Mental Health and to encourage others to seek help. In all that he does, he seeks to better his community and the lives of others.

Aashi Makan




Stephen Stokols

Founding Member

Chris Ergen 


Leo Balayon 

University Member  

Nektar Baziotis 


Elaine Reodica


Artest Management Group 

Advisor Consultant 

A study from the journal of Sport and Health Science determined that even untrained individuals participating in basketball activities experience increased maximal oxygen uptake, time to exhaustion, lean body mass, and bone mineral density, while lowering their arterial pressure, body fat percentage, heart rate, and blood lactate. 

Research has also found that, in the homeless population, activities like basketball are ideal for confidence, self-esteem, and managing stress. It is even widely recognized that rhythmic movement in basketball engages the hemispheres of the brain and quiets the mind. Thus, the simple rhythmic nature of the movements of basketball promotes good mental health. Lastly, researchers have found that the peripheral interactions that ensue as a result of a basketball skills lesson or a tournament produces a positive experience in both the participants and the spectators.

Back Stories

  • Metta World Peace is a well known mental health advocate and was one of the first high profile personalities to speak publicly and advocate for mental health services.  His nonprofit, Artest University (formerly Xcel University) has been very active in Los Angeles over the last 13 years particularly in mental health awareness activities and his basketball app and league.  XvsX Sports, social impact community sports app, has been hosting open runs, recreational games and competitive games and leagues over the last four years all across the city including Watts, Compton, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Reseda, Encino, and various locations within LA City proper, providing opportunities for physical exercise and community.
  • Through Xcel University (now known as Artest University) Metta World Peace has spoken about his own experience and the importance of mental health at countless schools, community centers, community service providers, hospitals, juvenile detention centers and more to share his own journey in mental health and encourage those who need help to access resources the City of Los Angeles offers.  Xcel University also led the city, state and then national campaigns to adopt lime green as the color to signify mental health awareness with Congresswoman Grace Napalitano and Capitol Hill.
  • Metta World Peace and Xcel University participated in two PSA Campaigns with LACDMH: