2010 NBA Draft Prospect Interview: Jermaine Dixon

TheRookieWall.comCorrespondent IJune 3, 2010

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 21:  Jermaine Dixon #24 of the Pittsburgh Panthers moves the ball against the Xavier Musketeers during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Bradley Center on March 21, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For Jermaine Dixon, basketball is comfort.

Jermaine Dixon didn’t take the easy road to playing Division I Basketball. After helping his high school team to a state title game appearance, Dixon went on to play one year at Maine Central Institute, a prep school in Maine, where he averaged 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists a game.

When high school ball was over, it was time for Jermaine to take his game to the next level and he chose to do so in Tallahassee, however, Jermaine wasn’t playing for the Florida State Seminoles; instead he was an Eagle playing under Coach Eddie Barnes at Tallahassee Community College. Dixon chose to attend TCC because of a close relationship his older brother and former NBA player, Juan Dixon, had with then assistant coach Kevin Norris.

Dixon shined at TCC. His sophomore season he helped guide the Eagles to a 17-0 record. In his two years with the program he scored over 1,000 points, and had over 300 rebounds, 200 assists, and 100 steals. Such a feat was accomplished only one other time in TCC school history.

After accomplishing a lot in a very little time at TCC, Dixon decided to take his game to the next level and move on from the junior college ranks. Wanting to be closer to home, Dixon chose the University of Pittsburgh because it was a mere four hour drive from his home in Baltimore, Maryland and Pitt was a winning program, something Jermaine wished to be a part of.

“[Pitt] is a great program, they’re a winning program, they graduate guys academically and they had great players...,” said Dixon in a recent interview with TheRookieWall.com.

With only two years of eligibility left, Dixon tried to make the most out of his stint with the Panthers. He managed to become a starter in his first season under Head Coach Jamie Dixon, and stayed a starter through his second and final season with the team. Looking back, Dixon enjoyed his short time at Pitt.

“I enjoyed playing under Coach Dixon, it was great. [Coach Dixon] is a great mentor [and] teacher....When I went [to Pitt] it was like a family when I got with my teammates. They brought me in like I had been there already,” said Dixon. 

“I’m glad I made that decision over the other places I could have went.”

Although playing in the Pitt system may have hurt Dixon’s chances of improving on his individual statistics, his ultimate goal was to win, and as a Panther he did just that, going 31-5 in his first season and 25-9 in his second.

With the NBA Draft now less than a month away Dixon is working hard to help his stock, currently training at the Home Depot Center—located on the campus of Cal State—with Duane Cooper and Travelle Gaines.

“We’re working...on my handles, my passing, and my jump shot,” Dixon said of his training focuses.

Having an older brother, Juan Dixon, who has already gone through the draft process is an advantage Dixon has over others. Dixon hopes to get a chance and just make the most of it, and with workouts currently setup with the Milwaukee Bucks and with the Denver Nuggets in late June, he will get the chance he is looking for.

To View The Entire Transcript Of The Interview The Rookie Wall Had With Jermaine Dixon visit TheRookieWall.com