There is always one game that stands out for athletes. Whether it is positive or negative, there is always that one moment.
For junior guard Melissa Dixon, last season’s moment was Iowa’s 69-53 win over the eighth-seeded Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
“It was such a big win for us, and it was so fun to have it on our home court,” Dixon said.
The Hawkeyes fell to eventual tournament champion Notre Dame in the next round, but Dixon remains optimistic about the upcoming season. The Johnsburg, Ill., native — who was named Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year last season — will be asked to play a bigger role for the Hawks next season after losing guards Jamie Printy and Trisha Nesbitt to graduation.
“I think everyone expects a lot of her, and she can definitely bring it,” teammate Bethany Doolittle said of Dixon. “This next year will really be her opportunity to shine.”
Dixon said the decision to play for coach Lisa Bluder was easy.
“Right from the minute I stepped on campus I felt really connected with the girls on the team and the coaches, it was like a family away from my family,” Dixon said. “I knew it was a really good fit and I felt really comfortable around everyone.”
The team chemistry is strong for this Hawkeye squad and they are just as close on the court as they are off it.
“She’s always joking around and really easy to talk to,” Doolittle said of Dixon. “She’s always laughing. You always associate Dixon with laughing. It’s awesome.”
Dixon influence also has rubbed off on her family. Dixon’s older brother, Mike, transferred from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to Iowa last year. He visited Melissa enough that he came to really like the campus and the school.
“It’s been a lot of fun to have him here,” Dixon said.
In Wednesday night’s Game Time League game, Dixon helped to lead Vinton Merchants/Culver’s to a 79-70 win with 28 points and going 4-for-8 from behind the arc. The 5-8 guard also had five rebounds and three assists.
Dixon lined up across from incoming Iowa freshman Ally Disterhoft.
“She’s a really hard worker,” Dixon said of Disterhoft. “She’s playing hard the entire time, she’s obviously got a great shot, and she’s got some height. She posted me up a couple times tonight and that worked for her.”
Disterhoft led Cullen Painting/Greater Iowa Financial Group with 19 points. The former West High prep also had seven rebounds and four assists in the loss.
In the classroom, Dixon is a sports and recreation business major. She’s not sure what exactly she wants to do after graduation but knows she wants to work in athletics.
“She’s an awesome teammate,” Doolittle said. “Not only on offense, obviously she can put down the 3s and is really good off the dribble, and on defense she’s really great. As a teammate, she’s just awesome.”
Reach Nick Fetty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 887-5409.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball