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Story Archives: Dixion dealing with setback
|Dixion dealing with setback|
Torrey Dixon remembers that day back in January of 2007 when Vidalia High teammate and close friend Jacob McGraw was running laps during before basketball practice when he stopped, leaned against the wall and then fell to the floor in a fetal position.
"I ran past him and then I slowed up," Dixon said. "I was thinking, 'Wow, what just happened.' I was kind of in a state of shock."
A month later, just before a playoff game with Lakeside, McGraw was once again running laps when he leaned over on the bleachers and went to sit down. He then passed out.
McGraw underwent testing at a Jackson hospital where it was discovered the artery of his heart was on the wrong side. He underwent surgery in New Orleans on September 16, 2007, one day before his birthday, where the artery was moved to the right side of his heart.
"That really scared me," Dixon said. "Jacob was the one with the most energy and to see him fall out was shocking. It shocked everybody because he was so active. I knew it could happen to anybody, I was praying it didn't happen to me one day"
Four years later, Dixon's concern that such an incident could happen to anybody, including him, came to reality.
On April 9, Dixon was participating in a pick-up game with his Baton Rouge Community College teammates before getting ready to go home for the weekend.
The Bear freshman fired a 3-point shot, began backpedaling, and then collapsed.
BRCC head coach Todd Foster rushed to Dixon's side where he did not find a pulse. When EMTs arrived seven minutes later, they revived Dixon and transported him to Baton Rouge General Hospital.
Dixon stayed in the hospital for a week after doctors installed an implantable defibrillator, which is is used to deliver a shock to the heart when a life threatening irregular heart rhythm is detected.
Dixon returned home to Vidalia a week later on April 16.
"I'm feeling all right," he said. "I honestly don't remember anything until I woke up in the hospital."
Dixon said his doctors are still not sure what caused his collapse.
"They are still doing tests," he said.
His future on the court is also in question.
"If I can't play basketball any more I will be heartbroken" Dixon said. "But if they tell me I can't play, then my health is more important than playing ball. I'll just have to find another hobby."
Dixon cannot compete physically this summer or do anything very strenuous.
"I was going to school this summer, so that's not really that bad," he said. "I just need to get back healthy."
Dixon was named to the Miss-Lou Conference All-Tournament team after the Bears fell to Southern University-Shreveport 64-57 in Shreveport in the Miss-Lou Conference Tournament.
Southern got off to a 35-25 lead at halftime and held off BRCC late to earn a spot in the Region 23 tournament.
BRCC finished sits season at 17-13 as Dixon led the team in scoring.
"We had a good year, but it was disappointing to lose in the finals," Dixon said. "But I was happy with my playing time."
Dixon said the jump to junior college was tough and not so tough.
"It was tougher than I thought it would be but not as tough as everybody else told me it would be," he said. "I had people telling me I would be playing against guys the size of Dwight Howard. That put a little fear in me. But it was a higher level than high school. The baskets I got in high school I couldn't get in college. I had to go up physically strong.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Dixon said the preseason weight program helped him prepare for the JCUO game.
And he hopes to continue to prepare. But it will take a doctor's OK and release for that to happen.
"I don't give up easy," Dixon said. "I still believe I will play again."
Dixon has met with coaches from Louisiana Tech and talked to several other coaches about playing at the next level.
"I'm sure there may be coaches who may be hesitant now to recruit me, but that's the good thing about having another year at BRCC," Dixon said. "If I can play next year I'll have the chance to prove myself and show I can play at the next level."
Don't count him out. The heart may not be the same medically, but it's the same kind of heart that helped carry Vidalia High to a state championship one year ago. And that's very heartening.
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