Alize Johnson has prayers answered and fulfills dream with new courts

By: Todd Bartley, General Manager, Fox Sports 92.7 & 1050

Alize Johnson made good on a lifelong dream and answer to so many prayers of bringing not only a place to play back to his hometown, but a place to dream big on Saturday!

A trio of NBA sized courts with brand new backboards, supports and the added touch of the Frank Luppachino Scoreboard. Which actually brought a tear to he and his wife’s eyes. seeing it for the first time.

Since his time as believe it or not an under sized youngster Alize would shoot hoops anywhere, whenever and with whomever he could find all over Williamsport and Lycoming County.

As a rising middle school player he was told he was too small to compete on the big school varsity team.

But that didn’t stop him. He and his family found a place to call home at Saint John Neumann Regional Academy.

Around that same time something happened that often does in developing young adults; Alize had a growth spurt.

All of a sudden this under sized player at a big school, literally became a giant at a small school. During his time in a Knights uniform his teams went to heights not seen in generations.

As his game steadily improved due to his unrelenting work ethic, something else happened, everyone else around him got better too. Why?

Would he yell at his teammates in a negative way? Nearly every time, not, instead he used the iron sharpens iron philosophy and as a team they rose to amazing heights including a PIAA Class A Final Four appearance.

In the opinion of this author, the single most defining play in the high school career of Alize Johnson was Neumann at Muncy in a regular season game and he scores what seemed like 100 points. It wasn’t the prolific scoring that stood out on this particular play or game, it was his ability to make plays for others.

Alize snatches a rebound, took a dribble, maybe two and threaded a pass the length of the floor to a teammate who got a step on his defender running the break and finishes for the two points.

My play-by-play call was so loud in Muncy’s gym Alize heard it, looked at me and had the biggest smile on his face. After the game if memory serves we talked on the radio and I put aside the scoring for a minute and asked about that play and as he always does stayed humble and shared it wasn’t about him but his teammates and coaches and what they were trying to accomplish together.

Alize Johnson, your impact is even greater than you know, because Jerald Williams who is pictured with you was inducted into the Lycoming College Athletics Hall of Fame today as one of the most prolific basketball players in Warriors history and is remembered for setting up his teammates for success with more steals and assists in program history. Jerald took time to see what you had done on your special day.

What a great tribute to you as a person more than a basketball player is to have a hall of famer take time on what is their special day to celebrate with you on yours.

Maybe someday you both could collaborate to help him in neighborhoods where he coaches.

A pair of true hoop legends sharing a photo on a special day for you both.

Alize, as you did back in your high school playing days and during special seasons with your team; you again built an amazing team around you and brought everyone together to dream big again, while coming together in common cause to make our community even better for generations to come.

If this is what year one in the NBA looks like an entire community is looking forward to what you have in store next.

Keep praying big prayers, dreaming big dreams and Where There Is A Will There Is A Way, speaking it into existence.