Isaiah Canaan ready to begin his pro basketball career

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When Isaiah Canaan was drafted in the second round, the 34th player selected by the Rockets, ESPN was in a commercial break, but some of those

in attendance inside the Biloxi Sports Arena noticed his name was displayed on the bottom of the big screen that was set up on the stage.

Canaan said,"I mean I was always the underdog. I went to a mid-major school so this doesn't change anything." He added,"It's another opportunity to go show that I'm one of the best players out here and I'm going to do that. I'm not going to hold my head down for nothing and still be the person that I am and show the people what I can do."

As more and more foreign players had their names called out in the first round... you could see frustration building... shock and amazement inside the Biloxi Sports Arena.

An always smiling Sardie Canaan, Isaiah's dad, was emotionally drained, until Houston pulled the trigger

"He's been working since he was two-years-old." That what Sardie said of his son. "Now 20 years later to actually here his name called. When I saw that my heart actually escaped my body and my soul said we are actually there. We made it."

(3947) we made it

Former Biloxi High and LSU standout Ronald Dupree who played in the NBA and now in Europe, says Canaan is a special player.

Dupree said,"I kind of compare him to Chris Paul." He has a Chris Paul personality on the court. I think with his athleticism, shooting ability and determination he will make it."

The nail biting has ended. The young man who guided Biloxi High to the 2009 State Championship and helped put Murray State back on the basketball map is getting ready to launch his NBA career with the Houston Rockets.

Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said, "Isaiah is one of the best shooting coming out of college in a while." He's a big-time athlete who had the highest vertical of any athlete in the NBA at the one spot. "He's short but he's thick so he's not a liability defensively, tough kid, really good kid."

Morey feels like the Rockets got a steal by drafting Canaan in with the 34th pick in the draft and they really wanted to draft him. He was high on their list.

He said Isaiah most likely will begin his professional career with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets NBA Development League team.

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