Local NBA Player Gives Back

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- A professional basketball player from Williamsport is giving back to the community, feeding more than 100 families on Thanksgiving.

This is the first event for his new charity, and his manager says this won't be the last time Alize Johnson helps those in need.

Back in June, Williamsport native Alize Johnson achieved a life-long dream. The St. John Neuman Academy graduate was one of 60 players to hear his name called in the NBA draft. Johnson was chosen by the Indiana Pacers.

The fame hasn't made the towering 6'9" hooper forget where he came from.

"He's always had that. Before he even made it to the NBA, he always had that desire to give back to the community," said Chanelle Johnson, his mother.

After getting drafted by the Pacers, Johnson signed a shoe contract with Nike. Thanks to that hook up, Williamsport's, Loyalsock's and St. John Neuman's basketball teams will have Nike sneakers for the upcoming season.

With Thanksgiving coming up, Johnson is at it again, and it has a catchy name: Zaygiving.

"I'm just ready to see the smiles on people's faces," his sister Davesha Hill said.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Johnson's family and friends will take to the streets in the Williamsport area, delivering baskets to more than 100 families in Lycoming County.

"He always expressed that if he ever made it to that platform that he would give back to the community that's supported him, and here we are," said Adam Edwards, Alize's step-father.

The baskets, filled with Thanksgiving goods, will go to families in need so they can enjoy a meal on the holiday. This is the first event for Johnson's brand new charity called "Where There's a Will, There's a Way."

"This area means everything to him because he was born here. He was bred here, so I just know that it means a lot to him," said Dianna Herritt, Alize's grandmother.

Johnson is currently playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA G League.

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