Missouri State University forward Alize Johnson was selected by the Indiana Pacers as the 20th pick of the second round of Thursday’s National Basketball Association draft here at Barclays Center.
Johnson was the 50th overall pick in Thursday’s draft and is the 12th MSU player in program history to be drafted by an NBA team.
The last Bear to be selected in the NBA Draft was Winston Garland who was the 40th overall pick (17th pick of the second round) by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1987.
As a senior, Johnson finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year voting and led the MVC in rebounding for the second straight season with 11.6 per game. He also led the Bears in scoring (15.0), rebounds and assists (94) with 20 double-doubles and was second nationally in defensive rebounds per game (8.48).
Johnson also ranked fifth nationally in total rebounds per game, sixth in total rebounds (384), eighth in double-doubles and 31st in offensive rebounds per game (3.15). Johnson finished 29th on MSU’s career scoring list — with 982 points in two seasons – and sixth on the club’s career rebounding chart (735).
After transferring from Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas, Johnson ended his two-year tenure at Missouri State with 982 points and 735 rebounds in just 66 games, ranking 29th and sixth, respectively on the Bears’ all-time career lists in those two statistical categories with 37 double-doubles.
The 6-foot-9 forward was an All-MVC first-team selection in 2018 for the second straight season. He participated in the 2018 NBA Combine, May 16-20, in Chicago. Last summer, Johnson was an overnight sensation at the Adidas Nations event in Houston, ultimately earning most-valuable player honors there during the college showcase.
The Pacers also selected UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday with the 23rd overall pick in the first round.