Handsworth has a bit of a tradi-tion creating good point guards, says Ramin Sadaghiani, Elite Girls Coach at 3D Basketball Academy. For the last ten years theres been a really good point guard there. Going back to Christine Kirk, and then Michelle Lee, and then Kristen Hughes, and Diana Lee recently.
The names of these successful university players might be a little intimidating for a younger player. Diana Lee, the most recent graduate, achieved back-to-back provincial championships and an NCAA scholarship to Boise State. Depsite having small feet, Diana managed to leave a big pair of shoes to !ll at the point gaurd position.
Enter Abby Dixon: Not only is she the heir to a point guard legacy, but shes the taken the role as a grade ten, something that makes the leadership position of point guard - widely considered the hardest in basketball - that much more dif!cult. To top it off, Dixon is relatively new to the game; so new, that she could lose a couple !ngers and still be able to count the years shes played on one hand.
I started in grade 7 at Montroyal and had been to a couple camps but I wasnt really into it, says Dixon. Then I just started 3D and tried out for a team. I didnt make it onto the A team the !rst time, but some people didnt want to play, [so I got invited].
Her experience with the 3D team, which included a trip to Anaheim, got her a little bit more into it. A Metro soccer player, she dropped down to gold so she could commit to basketball as her main sport. Entering Handsworth meant playing at the same school as star Diana Lee. For a young, fairly inexperienced player, it would be akin to !nding out Warren Buffet works in
the same building as you; intimidating, but for those that seize the opportunity, a great learning experience.
Knowing that I come after Diana Lee and I have to kind of live up to something that shes done... Theyve won provincials two times in a row so its tough trying to live up to what theyve accomplished, says Dixon. [But] it showed me what it is to get there and why its important to do the things that they do to get to that level.
Sadaghiani, who coached Dixon in the summer before her grade 9 year, says her improvement has been tremendous, maybe because shes naturally suited to her position. She obviously works hard and everything, he says, But the one thing that I notice about Abby is that shes always calm on the court. She has a calm demeanor about her. Thats an important skill that point guard needs to have. She doesnt get rattled.
After the Argyle senior boys team won the provincial championship in 2004, head coach Glen Chu said of his point guard Sean Burke: Hes only in grade 11. Imagine how good he will be next year! The same applies to Dixon, but even more so, as she gets a full year of experience before her
real senior year begins. Needless to say, this bodes well for Handsworth basketball. Our whole team is young, says Dixon. I think next year will be a good year and the year after that as well. When asked about the chances she can lead Handsworth to another back-to-back championship run, she laughs for a moment, before returning to the un"appable point guard nature that Sadaghiani praised: Maybe.
Abby Dixon is:Next in LineathleteSUROH
By the Stretch Sports Team Photos by Neil Dixon / www.DixieClicks.com
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