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Ex-Miner gets NBA Summer time

July 14, 2018

Mingo Central's Dikembe Dixson (10) puts up a shot against Huntington High during a game in 2015 at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington. Dixson went on to star at the University of Illinois-Chicago and now is playing for the Miami Heat in the NBA Summer League.

LAS VEGAS — Former Mingo Central guard/forward Dikembe Dixson has been competing in the NBA’s Summer League as he was selected as a member of Miami Heat.

Dixson played for the Miners under current Chapmanville coach Brad Napier for two seasons beginning in 2013 before graduating in 2015.

The 6-foot-6 wing enrolled at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he impressed during his career but especially in his freshman season. In 30 games for the Flames in the 2015-16 season, Dixson averaged 19.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals. He was awarded freshman of the year honors in the Horizon League.

He put up similar numbers during his sophomore season in the first 10 games before tearing his ACL, which ended his season. Dixson returned healthy for the start of the 2017-18 season and played in all 32 games his junior season coming off of the injury. The former Miner averaged 14 points a game and five rebounds for the Flames but played far fewer minutes than prior to the injury.

After electing to turn professional and going undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft, Dixson landed an invitation to be on the Miami Heat during the Las Vegas Summer League. So far in two games for the Heat, Dixson has scored four points and pulled down six boards in only 19 minutes on the court.

The experience and exposure against NBA-caliber talent will undoubtedly just be a steppingstone in the next direction of Dixson’s career, wherever that may be. The NBA G-League is reaching heights never seen before and foreign basketball leagues continue to gain popularity.

Dixson led Mingo Central to a 28-22 mark during his two years and the school’s first berth in the West Virginia Class AA state tournament.

The Miners defeated Sissonville in the regional final before losing to Fairmont Senior in Charleston to end the season.

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