Villanova Basketball commit Eric Dixon (PA) is putting the finishing touches on what has proved to be an illustrious career at Abington Senior High School, one that will see him remembered as one of the most talented and decorated players in the school’s history.
As Dixon is set to embark on the next step of his basketball journey with the Wildcats, he spoke to Basketball Society’s BJ Boyer (@wcb94) about his final season at his beloved high school, how he thinks Villanova’s program can benefit him as both a basketball player and young man, as well as his best basketball memory.
BJ Boyer: What’s made this season at Abington so special for you?
Eric Dixon: “Playing with all my best friends that I’ve had for a long time. We’re a close-knit team and it’s like family to me.”
BB: What will you remember most about your time at Abington, and how has the school helped you grow as both a player and a young man?
ED: “The support I receive from the community. They’ve helped me to be mature and realize how much of a difference I can make in a kid’s life, and it shows me how much I can impact a community itself just from playing basketball and doing what I love to do and being nice and accepting of people.”
BB: As your career at Abington wraps up, what do you think your legacy at the school is?
ED: “Being a respectful person. Trying not to be too cocky or too much of a rude person and being sincere and genuine to everyone who approaches me.”
BB: What made Villanova such an appealing option, and how do you think their program and culture can benefit your game?
ED: “It’s close to home. With my community meaning so much to me, it meant a lot to go somewhere they could follow me easily and keep up with what I’m doing and come out to see me at a game and support me if they choose to do, which I’m sure plenty of them will. As far as the program itself, there are plenty of programs where you’ll get better, faster, stronger, but the family picture, their attention to detail… Every second there matters. I know that I can use some help in areas of life such as time-management and discipline, and they have a proven track record of being able to help people get their stuff together not only on the court but as a man.”
BB: Next year your backcourt will feature Bryan Antoine and Jahvon Quinerly. How excited are you to play with those two, and how do you think you guys can develop as a trio?
ED: “I also picked this place because I want to win… I want to win a lot. I could’ve gone somewhere else and been a star, but I came here to win and these two guys are very talented, they make plays and they make the game easier for everybody. Everybody working together with a lot of talent we’re going to be able to help each other a lot. In the games and in practice we’re just going to get better every day.”
BB: What part of your game do you think is overlooked?
ED: “My ball-handling ability. I feel like I have the ability to handle the ball a little bit… Maybe they try to put someone too big on me and I go right by them, or they put somebody to small on me and I post them up, but I feel like my playmaking ability and my ability on the perimeter is kind of underrated.”
BB: Who would you compare your game to? When I watched you play against Coatesville in the district final, I caught a Julius Randle type of vibe. I’m sure you’ve heard that before.
ED: “Julius Randle, actually. That’s one of the first times I’ve heard that. I usually hear Zach Randolph or LaMarcus Aldridge. In my early years, I’d agree with that because that’s who I was, but I feel like as my playmaking and shooting has become more developed, I think a Draymond Green/Aldridge type of player.”
BB: What part of your game do you really hope to improve on before you reach the college ranks?
ED: “As well as ball-handling being one of my more underrated talents, it’s also one thing I want to get better at. Playmaking, me being 6’7, I’ve got to become quicker, more explosive, more athletic… Being able to improve on that and take advantage of those matchups on a higher level. I understand the guys at the next level are going to be better than the talent I’m seeing now, so even though it’s underrated, I know it’s something I’ve got to get a lot better at.”
BB: Who/what is responsible for helping you fall in love with the game of basketball?
ED: “My dad, easily. Always being around it… He was playing in a lot of leagues around the area when I was coming up… I remember just going to watch him play 4v4, 5v5 with his friends… Something he always loved to do. I feel like my dad helped teach me, and grow my love… He still helps grow my love for the game. That’s kind of our bonding time when he and I go to the gym together and it’s just us shooting and he’s rebounding or we’re just talking about life, getting to know each other better.”
BB: What’s your best/favorite basketball memory so far?
ED: “Man… Well you know I like to win, so I’m going to have to go with the three-peat.”
BB: I like how committed to winning you are. Okay… last question, NBA related: Who is your GOAT? We hear a lot of people say Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant… You’re obviously a little younger so maybe someone like Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry, but in your eyes, who is the GOAT?
ED: “I’m going to have to say, LeBron James. He can do stuff that people in the past just couldn’t do. People talk about killer instinct and other stuff, but I feel like, in terms of ability on the court, it doesn’t get better than LeBron.”