WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- At 6 foot 9 inches tall, Alize Johnson towers over his 5-year-old cousin Ky'sir. Newswatch 16 asked the two to play one on one at Lose Park in Williamsport, but lately, Johnson has been up against some bigger players. The best in the world are vying for a spot in the NBA.
"My dream since 3rd grade has been to go to the NBA, so just for this to actually start taking place is huge for me," said Alize Johnson.
With the 2018 NBA draft this week Johnson’s dream could come true. A graduate of St. John Neuman, the forward went on to play basketball at Missouri State. That's where he says NBA scouts started reaching out.
"I've been doing a lot of traveling worked out for 12 teams,” said Johnson.
"We're hoping that they call his name. He has a good chance. He's been working out for a lot of teams. He's worked really hard, so we're believing God is going to do something amazing,” said Chanelle Johnson.
Mom, Chanelle isn't the only one anxiously waiting to hear Alize’s name. It's part of the reason the community was invited to a meet and greet at Lose Park.
For Alize, the event is a way to give back the community and reach out to the next generation on and off the court.
"If he can make it I can make it too."
"Everybody is not going to make it to the NBA. Everyone is not going to be into basketball but there are other things in our life that we want to go towards and obviously and this is going to bring that hope definitely," said Johnson’s mom.
"I don't think there is anyone in the community more deserving of this,” said a friend.
"I'm always going to be the same Alize whether I go into the NBA or what. I just hope everyone remembers me as staying down to earth and humble and being the same guy I’ve always been," said Johnson.
The community is invited to an NBA draft party at the Trade and Transit Center in Williamsport.