— The 2002
The guard and his teammates had lost a 22-point lead to
"We had a bad taste in our mouths the whole offseason," said Dixon, who is part of an eight-member class being inducted into the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday. "Losing that game to Duke, we knew for sure going into that final season that we had a great chance of winning. We knew that (forward)
As Terps fans know, Maryland returned to the Final Four and – this time – won in the semifinals before defeating Indiana for the national title.
Last season, Maryland celebrated the 10th anniversary of that championship. The title — along with the honors that have accompanied it — are a form of redemption for Dixon, who remains Maryland's career scoring leader.
"No one ever thought that a skinny guy from Calvert Hall would be in the Maryland Hall of Fame," Dixon said Wednesday. "We had a lot of naysayers, but Coach (
The others inductees are former coaches Tom Bradley (baseball) and Cindy Timchal (women's lacrosse), football player Paul Vellano — who is the father of current Maryland defensive lineman Joe Vellano — field hockey player Carla Tagliente and women's lacrosse players Jen Adams and Sarah Forbes. Leonard
Dixon still occasionally attends Terps games. He said that coach
Dixon, whose parents died of
He has also played overseas. Dixon, who once delivered an anti-steroid message to Congress, was indefinitely suspended in 2010, according to the Spanish team Unicaja, which said he had a positive result for Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid, during a test conducted in Greece. Dixon had played in Greece before joining Unicaja.
Dixon said Wednesday: "I've never taken steroids. That was bogus."
His 2002 teammates included walk-on guard Earl Badu. Badu, who attended St. Frances, died last week after jumping from the I-95 overpass onto I-695, according to police.
Dixon recalled how fans chanted for Badu to enter the final game at Cole Field House in March 2002. Badu scored his second career Terps basket and had an assist during the game's final two minutes.
"He was a great friend who was going through a tough time," Dixon said. "We miss him, we love him and it hurts."
Tickets for the induction can be purchased from the 'M' Club office at 301-314-2619.