Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Coach Says 2015 Wing Dikembe Dixson Could Be a Pro
Dikembe Dixson doesn’t have a single college scholarship offer yet, but his high school coach says the 6-foot-7 2015 small forward could be special.
“He could be a pro one day,” Jim Youngman, the head coach at Bardstown (Ky.) Thomas Nelson High School who previously coached at Andre Iguodala’s high school, told SNY.tv Wednesday. “You hate to say that because you don’t want a kid to get too complacent or think he’s arrived because there’s a lot of work to do there.”
An Illinois native who played last year at Ashland (Ky.) Paul Blazer, Dixson has been blowing up recently, including an impressive performance at the recent John Lucas Midwest Invitational that inspired several articles from recruiting services.
“I just got back from the John Lucas camp and I did really well there,” Dixson told SNY.tv.
“He’s starting to blow up,” Youngman said. “He’s a heck of a player, great kid. He’s been a real good student. He just transferred here. I’ve only had him here for 2-3 weeks.”
Youngman said UConn, West Virginia and Iowa State are among those who have passed through the gym so far this year.
“UConn and West Virginia came to watch me and I did really [well],” Dixson said. “I think they liked what I did.”
Kentucky assistant John Robic plans to see Dixson, too.
“Kentucky said they haven’t seen him yet,” Youngman said. “They’re going to come in here and check him out.”
Youngman said Dixson must continue to develop his game, but that he’s a tremendous athlete and competitor.
“He’s got some work to do,” Youngman said. “He has got a motor that I’ve seen very few with. His motor makes him special. He just goes so hard, goes all day long. He’s so competitive and as a coach the one thing you can’t put in somebody is a motor. And you can’t make him the competitive kid that he is
“He’s very long, very athletic, a quick leaper off his feet. He’s gotta continue to work on his ball skills and his jump shot. I know he will and he’s the kind of kid that will. He wants it bad.
“Nobody’s offered yet. I think that’s just a matter of time. I think the floodgates will open.”
Dixson also has a cousin on the team, Montrell Dixson, whom Jim said is a 6-6 left-handed sophomore with “major upside.”
A.J. Youngman, the coach’s son, is a 6-5, 220-pound freshman guard who just picked up an offer from West Virginia to go with offers from Northern Kentucky and Portland, his father said.
“A lot of people were coming in last year on him,” Jim said. “Michigan State really liked him.”
Photo: Daily Independent
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.