By Brenna Eller
Editor In Chief
Former Hutchinson Community College basketball player Cliff Dixon died after being fatally shot at his birthday party in Atlanta on March 21. There is still an ongoing investigation as to who the shooter was.
Dixon’s funeral was held on Monday.
Kevin Durant, a star guard for the Golden State Warriors, was very close to Dixon since his parents adopted him. They grew up encouraging each other and always made the other proud.
According to “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution”, Durant mentioned Dixon after receiving the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2014, thanking him for always supporting him.
After Dixon’s time at HutchCC ended in 2009, he went on to play basketball for two seasons at Western Kentucky, and in 2011 was dismissed for violating team rules.
In 2014, Dixon went to play pro basketball in Austria.
Ryan Swanson, HutchCC men’s basketball coach from 2006 – 2009, remembered his experience getting to know Dixon and his family.
Swanson went to Washington a few times to see Dixon and his family during recruiting.
“I got to know them well, they’re good people,” Swanson said. “I even met Durant.”
Swanson was always impressed with Dixon and the way he composed himself.
“He got good grades, dressed nicely, and was always respectful towards his teammates and teachers,” Swanson said.
Swanson said that he and the other coaches never had a problem with Dixon.
“You could tell he was raised by good parents,” Swanson said. “They adopted him when he was a teenager.”
When Swanson heard the news about Dixon he said couldn’t believe it.
“I was heartbroken, I was stunned,” Swanson said, “I knew he was doing well because we stayed in touch mostly through social media.”
According to Swanson, Bobby Maze, another HutchCC basketball player who was friends with Dixon, was responsible for Dixon transferring to HutchCC his sophomore year.