WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The packed room at the Trade and Transit Centre on West Third Street in Williamsport went crazy as 22-year-old Alize Johnson made his entrance at his NBA draft party, where he hoped to hear his name called.
Now that dream has come true as he was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round.
“I started to break down and cry tears of joy and the pain that I went through to get to this point,” said Johnson. “So, I was very excited, grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Pacers organization.”
Johnson says he's still reeling from the fact his dream of playing in the NBA is actually now a reality.
But Johnson says it was a lot of hard work to get here.
In the three weeks leading up to the draft, he tried out for 12 NBA teams.
Still, he feels he fit well with the Pacers.
“I think it's going to be something that was supposed to happen because I worked out with them and we all got along, they liked me a lot, I was looking forward to going with them,” said Johnson.
Before winning awards on the court for Missouri State, Johnson attended Saint John Neuman Academy in Williamsport.
And he plans to continue to return to his roots once he's settled with his new team.
“When I come back, I'll start doing camps and communicating with the kids to see the ideas and the things that they want to do as far as helping them,” said Johnson.
Johnson says it's his home community of Williamsport that`s allowed him to reach his life-long goal. That's why he wanted to have his draft party here surrounded by friends and family.
“Everybody knows each other here, it's a small town,” said Johnson. “That's the beauty of it, it's the reason why I wanted to have the draft here, stay here around the people that I grew up with.”
“Definitely a part of his character and you see that humility there, it definitely, definitely shows,” said Johnson’s mother, Chanelle.