Missouri State Alum Alize Johnson talks with The Basketball Movement after being selected in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The first Missouri State Bear selected in the NBA Draft since Winston Garland (1987), Alize Johnson is a versatile threat destined for professional basketball at the highest level. No stranger to The Basketball Movement, we had the opportunity to talk to him after the draft.
Fans of Missouri State basketball are very familiar with Alize's game. He is a capable scorer and is a 20-rebound threat despite his versatility as a stretch-big. With the size and quickness to guard multiple positions, he was coveted by several NBA teams.
Alize Johnson has had a very busy Summer, working out with 12 NBA teams all over the country. He said that it was a "Dream come true" being in all of those facilities and meeting the personnel.
Players or fans alike would recognize another versatile big man named Johnson that Alize got to meet recently. "Meeting Magic Johnson in LA was not normal" Alize said. "I had to act normal, but to meet someone on his level with his experience... it was definitely cool."
He has encountered players at all levels on his journey. He said of his fellow draftee, Dante DiVincenzo that he was not surprised in the least that he went 17th. He also mentioned De'Aaron Fox, who was drafted last season but is technically younger than Alize. "He has been great to defend this offseason. I've learned where I need to be in my lateral movement from his speed."
Hearing your name selected in the NBA draft is an incredible accomplishment for basketball players from every corner of the world. In case he was not tired of answering the question already, we asked Alize what it felt like to get drafted:
When asked what the next step is for him, Alize explained that NBA Summer League is the next big moment. "I'm learning plays and getting a feel for how they want to use me" Alize said. He aims to impress them with his ability to fill any role on the floor. He says he would be comfortable at the 3 or 4 position - whatever the team needs.
From a 5’9 PG at a 1A school to a 6’7 SR. Non-qualifier & 0 D1 offers. 2 yrs JUCO unranked. 2 yrs at a mid-major D1. 2x 1st team all-MVC. MVP at Adidas nation. 5th in nation rebounding SR yr. NBA combine invite. 2 college degrees. Picked 50th overall in NBA draft. NEVER give up!— Alize Johnson (@AlizeJohnson) July 5, 2018
He said he is currently working on conditioning and getting back to being a knock-down three-point shooter like he was his Junior year at MSU. Speaking of putting in work...
Alize Johnson and The Basketball Movement
His time at Missouri State is what led to meeting Rob Yanders and working out at The Basketball Movement. He said that he heard this is where local guys came to get great workouts.
As it is often goes with time spent at The Basketball Movement, it is easier to show you the work than to explain it in words. Check out the video below for some of the work Alize Johnson put in here at The Movement.
Asked to give advice to The Basketball Movement's up-and-comers on how to get your name called in the draft, he had a few simple tips.
Our personal favorite is "Use Rob." Alize explained that Rob has played as a professional and had players come through his doors from the highest level. Having such a resource here in the Midwest is a great way for players to get ahead.
Beyond that, Johnson spoke on the importance of character and leaning on whatever religion you may follow. He said to remain humble, but also to work extremely hard.
If working "extremely hard" doesn't scare you off of your path to the top, contact The Basketball Movement to get to work right away.
We wish our friend, Alize Johnson the best of luck in the NBA! Summer League in Vegas starts tonight with all games televised on either NBA TV, ESPN, or ESPN U, so don't forget to tune in!