DIXON, IL — The community of Dixon has produced a U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and now it has produced an NBA player. Isaiah Roby was selected in the NBA Draft Thursday night. Friday evening his hometown helped him celebrate.
It began with people lining Galena Avenue which runs through the heart of Dixon. The folks were all were waiting for Roby to pass by with a police escort. Many of the younger fans brought signs with them. The community was full of pride knowing that a hometown son has made it to the NBA.
“This is great! I couldn’t be happier for the guy,” said Dixon resident John Frey. “He’s such a nice guy and he’s such a talent.”
“I’ve known the kid since he was born, so I truely follow him,” said another resident Lucky Chima.
The escort was short. It took only seconds for Roby and his family to pass by while riding in an old open Blazer. It didn’t matter. That’s all anyone wanted was a chance to show their support.
“Everyone’s so excited? We’re all happy for him and we wish him well,” said Dixon resident Mike Lahey. “It’s Isaiah fever down here!”
Then everyone gathered at the Public Safety Building where Roby spoke to the crowd.
“This is incredible! I don’t even have words for it.”
Roby’s modesty came through as always. He was impressed with the turnout especially for an event that was thrown together quickly this morning.
“Isaiah’s mom called me this morning at eight o’clock and said, ‘Hey, do you think we could have a parade tonight?” And we’re just like, ‘Sure we can!,” said the man who put it all together city councilman Mike Venier.
“This is awesome!,” said Robey. “Coming from a small town this is the type of support you get. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
It was Thursday night night shortly before 11 p.m. when Roby was drafted in the middle of the second round by the Detroit Pistons. They were actually making the pick though for the Dallas Mavericks who had made a trade earlier with Detroit.
In Dallas Roby will join an exciting young core group of players that includes this years’ top rookie Luka Doncic and seven-footer Kristaps Porzingis.
“I talked to coach Carlisle and (Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban yesterday,” said Roby. “When they drafted me they called me and they said, ‘We’re ecstatic to have you.”
“I’m ecstatic. When I declared for the draft this was exactly what I wanted. When I talked to coach Hoiberg about coming back or going into the draft I said if I feel I have a good opportunity to get drafted and land on a team I’m not going to pass it up. I’m going to go chase that dream and now I achieved it.”