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Giving back...

Juan Dixon returns to Maryland and helps others reach for their dreams

 

BOYDS – Juan Dixon enjoyed a memorable basketball career at the University of Maryland, where he guided the Terrapins to their first and only NCAA championship in 2002.

The men’s basketball program’s all-time leading scorer recently reflected on his experience playing four years at Maryland.

“It was a great experience,” Dixon recalled earlier this month during his basketball camp at the Discovery Sports Center.

“As a kid I grew up a Maryland fan. I kept up with Len Bias and the Walt Williams of the world and I just wanted to make an impact once I got my opportunity. Coach [Gary] Williams had the confidence in me to offer me a scholarship and I just worked extremely hard every day to accomplish what we did in 2002.”

During the first week in August, Dixon, 37, hosted his annual basketball camp in Montgomery County.

He relished the opportunity to spend time with sons, Corey, 8, and Carter, 6, while giving back to the community.

“It’s very important,” said Dixon.

“I have a great opportunity to come out here to Discovery Sports Complex. I’m able to bring my sons and I’m working with an amazing staff. I want to give back to the community and give them an opportunity to come to a camp that’s well-run and we do it at a high level.”

During the 2001-2002 campaign, the Calvert Hall College High School product led Maryland to a 32-4 record and earned first team All-American honors.

Following his senior season at Calvert Hall, Dixon played in the prestigious Capital Classic High School All-Star Game.

In 1997, Dixon played on a Capital All-Star team that featured Montgomery County standouts such as Newport Prep’s Dalonte Hill and Sherwood’s Shawn Tyndell along with future Maryland teammate Terence Morris, who finished with a team-high 20 points in a 125-113 loss to the United States All-Stars.

The game also featured standout performances from future Duke Blue Devil opponents Elton Brand (22 points), William Avery (22 points) and Shane Battier (six points).

“I remember I probably was the skinniest kid there but it was a great experience,” said Dixon, who scored four points in the contest. “I played against some of the top high school players in the country in that all-star game and it gave me a lot of confidence moving forward.”

The Baltimore native was a first round NBA draft pick in 2002 by the Washington Wizards, who chose the former ACC Player of the Year with the 17th overall selection.

Dixon spent nearly a decade playing professional basketball in the NBA and overseas with various teams including the Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons before retiring five years ago.

In 2013, Dixon joined Mark Turgeon’s coaching staff at Maryland where he served as Special Assistant to the Head Coach.

However, Dixon parted ways at his alma mater in July after a three-year stint.

Although he appreciated the opportunity to work at Maryland, the local product plans to coach somewhere else in the future.

“Coaching is my purpose here on this earth,” said Dixon. “Doing camps like this, mentoring, teaching, helping prepare kids for life; basketball was a vehicle for me to get to this point in my life. Maryland started off me transitioning into my new career so I thank Coach Turgeon for an amazing opportunity and I’m looking forward to my coaching career.”

@bls1969

 

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