After former Missouri State star Alize Johnson was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft, he shared a video of him surprising his mother with a new car.
On Monday, he went a step further.
In a video posted to Johnson’s Instagram, the Williamsport, Pennsylvania, native and current Indiana Pacer surprised his family with a new home.
The video began with his family getting out of the car and questioning what was going on. The 6-foot-7 forward stood in front of a home with balloons as his mother collapsed to her knees in tears.
“God never seems to amaze me,” Johnson wrote. “I have been through everything with my family, both good and bad times. We have never given up on each other, I would never allow it, EVER! My family is the reason I go so hard. The reason I sacrifice every day and continue to put in work.
“I just want to see a smile on their faces. Today I surprised them with a new house I always dreamed of living in myself, but I’m taking care of them first because, without them, there is no Alize.”
Johnson was raised by a single mother and was the oldest male in the house. He and his mother talked in-depth with the News-Leader before his senior year in 2017 about how he grew up as the man of the house.
He’s also flown his younger brothers to Springfield, on multiple occasions, to work out with Rob Yanders at The Basketball Movement gym in north Nixa.
Johnson was selected by the Indiana Pacers in 2018 — after two years at Missouri State, where he became one of the better players in the history of the school.
While in Springfield, he earned first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in his two seasons. He was named the MVC Newcomer of the Year during his junior season.
The Pacers have the option of extending Johnson a qualifying offer during the offseason to keep him under contract for another year. Wheat Hotchkiss of Pacers.com wrote that it “seems like a good possibility he will be back on the roster next season.”
Johnson has started one game in 31 appearances in his first two seasons in the NBA. In that one start, he scored 11 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a win over the Miami Heat.
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. You can subscribe to his free “Bears Beat” newsletter on News-Leader.com. He’s also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.