Photo courtesy of St. John’s University Athletics.
By David Cordova
On the college basketball scene, there are players that have the opportunity to transfer up to bigger conferences. A reason why is they want to get to the pros & they feel this is their only way to get there. Another reason is because they want to play on a higher level, which is in the Power 6 Conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12 & SEC).
In the case of Mikey Dixon, leveling up can be a good thing. Two years ago, he played for a Quinnipiac Bobcats squad that finished in the bottom of the MAAC. Today, in the present day, he is playing at St. John’s, which this year plans to make a mark in the Big East.
The 6-foot-2 point guard is a guard that can score in bunches, but plans on going from the main scoring threat at one program to a contributor at another program that has a chance to have a great season this year.
When asked what makes him successful on the court, he replied, “Just really, my parents, my pop, he started me off playing the game, so I go out there and represent for my family, and then just the love of the game that I just always had. I’ve been playing since like I was five years old, I’ve been playing. I’ve just always had a passion for it.”
Dixon hails from New Castle, Delaware, a town with a population of 559,793 people, which is also six miles south of Wilmington, the largest city in the state. When asked about being from Delaware and the basketball culture, he replied,”You know, it’s a small state, you feel me? Not too many people make it out, so once you do, you gotta put on for the city, feel me? Whenever you got a chance, just put on, because there’s not that many of us balling right now.”
As far as the basketball climate in Delaware, it’s been growing as of late. Dixon is the fourth most prominent hoopster to come out of the state at the present time. The other three are Eric Ayala, who is a freshman at Maryland, former McDonald’s All-American Trevon Duval and former Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo, both of whom are now rookies with the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA.
“You know, all those names you just said, I’m actually really cool with all of those guys, so it’s really good just to see us putting on from the state that we’re from. At one point in time, we was all at a game or a gym somewhere back home, so we’re all pretty cool, we played with each other, so it’s just good to see everybody doing their thing on the next level, and just trying to put on for their city, basically.”
He spent his high school years at the Sanford School, a small, elite private school in Hockessin, Delaware with an enrollment of 600 students. As a junior, he averaged 22 points per game and helped his team to the No. 1 ranking in the state and also helped them reach the semifinals. As a senior, he doubled his performance to 27.1 points per game and led Sanford to the Delaware state championship and was named Player of the Year.
When asked about his time at the Sanford School, he replied, “You know, it was good. I was fortunate to win a state championship my senior year, player of the year, things like that. I was fortunate [in] my senior year, probably my most fun time there.”
Before his senior season, Dixon decided to commit to Qunnipiac, where from day one, he had the ball in his hands every game. As a freshman, he averaged 16.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and at the end of the season, would win MAAC Rookie of the Year honors. Also, he was rated at No. 12 on the list of highest-scoring freshmen around the nation in NCAA Division I basketball.
“That was great. It was a great way to start off my college career, I would say,” said Dixon about his time at Quinnipiac. “But then certain circumstances happened and then I felt it was best for me to move on to a bigger stage.”
At the end of his freshman season, Bobcats head coach Tom Moore had been fired and Dixon decided to transfer. He then decided to transfer to St. John’s, which is a team in the Big East Conference, which is one of the biggest stages in college basketball.
On his decision to transfer to St. John’s, he replied, “I felt like this was the best spot for me and the best situation, and the best step for me taking my journey, to get where I’m trying to go. New York City, being an East Coast kid, playing in Madison Square Garden, you can’t get a bigger stage than that. I felt a connection to all of the players that was already here and the coaching staff. I just felt it was the right place for me.”
But before he could step on the court with the Red Storm, he had to sit out due to the NCAA transfer rules. When asked about his redshirt season, he replied, “Very tough, that was probably one of my first times ever missing a basketball season, from when I first started playing. But you know, it gave me time to think, get in the gym, work out, and just knowing, when that time come, it’s here now, so I’m just ready to go.”
Also, he gets the chance to be coached by former NBA player and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, who is now in his fourth season on the sideline with the Red Storm. When asked about the lessons he learned from Mullin, Dixon replied, “Really, like, bringing it every day. Going hard, just being a student of the game, it’s a lot of different stuff that he teaches daily, so whatever he tells me, I just soak it all in. And you know, it’s coming from one of the greats.
Dixon is a part of a quartet of guards that may be the most powerful backcourt in the Big East, with juniors Mustapha Heron, Justin Simon and the conference’s preseason Player of the Year, Shamorie Ponds. With that crew, you can expect a lot of scoring and great play this season.
In his first two games this season, Dixon has averaged 7.5 points per game coming off the St. John’s. In his first game against Loyola (Maryland) on November 6th, he scored 13 points in the Red Storm’s 76-55 win.
When asked about what he’ll bring to St. John’s and the Big East this season, Dixon replied, “I’m going to bring another scoring guard, another threat, a playmaker that can make plays, shooting. I try to score it in all three ways.”
Now that the season is here, it is time to show and prove after being out of action for a year. It’s always good when a kid from a small town, a small place shines in the brightest of lights. Such is the case for Mikey Dixon.