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PORT CITY — October 22, 2016 may not have much significance to many. But from now on, it will be significant for the Dixon Family since that was the Saturday when Sinita “Nuggie” Dixon was officially inducted as a member of the Class of 2016 Legends of Hoggard High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dixon, my eldest aunt on my mother’s side of the family, was a three-sport star (basketball, softball and track & field) at John T. Hoggard in Wilmington, North Carolina back when high school was just three years. During her tenure there, Dixon played basketball and softball at such a high level that she earned a scholarship to Elon College, now Elon University.
From 1979-82 and listed at 5-8, Dixon balled as a member of the Elon Lady Phoenix basketball team. She averaged 22 points as a freshman, 21.5 as a sophomore and 12.7 in her final season, totaling 1,617 points which is third on the program’s all-time scoring list. Dixon was second on the list behind Venessa Corbett, fellow Elon Hall of Famer, until Ali Ford moved into that spot during the 2012-13 season.
Dixon scored her career high (37 points) against my Alma mater, North Carolina A&T, as a freshman and that total is still second highest single-game scoring output on the program’s all-time list behind Corbett’s 43. Dixon is still second all-time for field goals made (16 against Wingate) in a game and second all-time in scoring average (19.3).
Inducted into the Elon Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, Dixon was honored at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel, where she spoke with Mobasketball.net about her playing days, being honored by her high school and other topics.
What are your thoughts on being a member of Hoggard’s Sports Hall of Fame?
I’m so thankful and grateful to Hoggard High School. Thankful to Shelia Boles for making it happen. Coach Jack Rasberry, my basketball and softball coach, for giving me an opportunity to be on the team. I’m overjoyed and overwhelmed.
What is a moment you will always remember from your playing days?
Oh my goodness it was so many. I remember this one particular game in high school, an away game against 71st High School. I remember chasing down a girl on a fastbreak. She thought she had a layup free and clear. I came out of nowhere and Michael Jordaned that mess. It hit the backboard. I hit my arm on the backboard. That was one of my favorite moments from high school and I surprised myself. I didn’t really know I could jump that high. When I saw her getting away, it was no way I was going to let her score.
Which high school was a bigger rival–New Hanover or Laney?
It was Hanover. When peaches Riley played, she was my biggest rival.
What helped you become an exceptional player at Elon?
My college teammates taught me how to play college basketball. What I got from high school, I just took it there and they formed me, shaped me into a college player. All I had was high school experience so when I went to Elon I had to learn how to be on the college level–my first year was all about that. I didn’t really know what it was going to be like until I got there. When I got there, I understood how I had to be and I just grew from there.
How were you able to score so many points at Elon?
Growing up, I played with the boys so when I put together what I knew and what I learned from them, it just made me better and a lot of the girls hadn’t gotten that far yet. That is what gave me an advantage over the girls. I had skills that came from playing with the boys everyday.
I was too young to see you play at Elon but I remember seeing you ball at the 8th Street Center (Martin Luther King Center). What do you remember about those days?
Those were the good ol’ community days. I loved those days. You just get right off work and run straight to they gym and get ready for a game. We were probably the second best team in the league and we were the shortest team too. We got beat down by a lot of the UNCW players. Some of them got in the community league and beat up on us pretty good but it was fun. It was all about conditioning for me at that point. I just loved to run. I played with guys everyday.
What are your thoughts on women’s basketball today?
Women’s basketball is up there. The WNBA is where I would be if I was born just right but I was born too early. Right now, I’d be happy just being on the Atlanta Dream and playing with Angel McCoughtry. She is one of my favorite players and I’d want it to be in Atlanta or Charlotte. As far as basketball and women, we are on top of the world. We are prime time. Everybody knows about it. Everything is coming together for women’s basketball. It didn’t come together much in my day but now it’s exploded and I’m happy about that.
What do you miss most as a former basketball player?
I miss all of the excitement. I miss the noise. I miss the ball going through the hoop. I miss the running. I miss everything about sports because I can’t play anymore now. It was a big-time passion and I’m sorry that it is over for me. I still think I can get out there and I cannot.