Canaan returns home for the NBA Draft


WPSD Sports

Tomorrow, someone will select one of Biloxi, Mississippi's native sons in the NBA Draft. Isaiah Canaan returned home Tuesday night in preparation for Thursday's draft.  He will hold his draft party in his high school gym with a small group of family and friends.
On Wednesday, Canaan took some friends into the locker room to check out some old memories. The locker room is decorated with newspaper articles and pictures. One wall honors Biloxi High School players, while the other wall shows off kids that have gone on to play college basketball.
There are plenty of pictures of Canaan in the locker room.  Today he explained when he knew he was good enough to earn a spot on the college wall.
"I was good in middle school, and everybody said you're probably going to be a great player one day," Canaan said. "When I got my first opportunity to get varsity experience as a ninth-grader, that's when I knew I had a shot to play at the college level."
Not many people in Biloxi saw Canaan play much when he went off to school in Murray, Kentucky.  That all changed when he hit a half-court shot from his knees late in his freshman year.
"He makes that shot, and then it's on ESPN," Canaan's high school coach Seber Windham said.  "Next thing you know, there's a big buzz around Biloxi. I probably saw 30 or 40 kids on their knees in the gym. That's when I said -- it's just starting."
For four years at Murray State, it never stopped for Isaiah Canaan. He did just about everything he could in a Racer uniform.  Tomorrow that journey culminates with the NBA Draft. Canaan could have had a draft party anywhere in the country -- literally anywhere.  Instead, he will hear his name called while sitting in Biloxi.  Don't think that fact is lost on the people in his hometown.
"Two weeks from now, you're going to have a nice bank account," Windham said he told Canaan recently. "You're going to sacrifice everything you've worked for to bring this home to a small coast city back in Biloxi. I said that really, really explains who you are."
When Canaan is selected Thursday night, he will be the first Murray State Racer drafted since Marcus Brown back in 1996.
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