South's Danny Dixon is continuing his basketball career at Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas. Right, Grosse Pointe South 2014 graduate Danny Dixon, standing far left, with his cousins during a recent family gathering.
July 03, 2014Grosse Pointe South's Danny Dixon took his final high school test last month and passed with flying colors. However, the 17-year-old National Honor Society member may be facing his biggest test yet in September when he matriculates at the Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, Nev.
Dixon achieved All-Conference status and was runner-up for the Conference Player of the Year accolade under first-year head coach Troy Glasser.
In addition to leading the Blue Devils' boys' varsity basketball team to its first men's conference title in many years, the 6-foot, 9-inch center/forward garnered honors as the team's Most Valuable Player, All-East, and Honorable Mention All-State. South's standout captain credits the leadership of his coaching staff, his senior teammates, and fellow captains Josh Gray, Jack Strachan and Darius Harris, for the success they experienced this year as a team.
A self-proclaimed bench warmer as a freshman and sophomore on the lower level teams, Dixon was the single most potent weapon on the Blue Devils' varsity team the past two seasons.
He was the offensive star throughout his senior year, averaging nearly 20 points and 11 rebounds per game, and he was a tireless defender and one of the most dominant shot blockers on the east side of Detroit.
In addition to his mother Sue's tireless efforts in helping him get the extra training, development, practice and competition needed to become a complete player, Dixon credits AAU coach A.W. Canada for a good deal of his individual development.
Canada was equally effusive with his praise of Dixon.
"Danny is a very skilled 6-foot, 9-inch player who can handle the ball very well, has a good mid-range jumper and can also shoot the three," Canada said. "His athleticism allows him to be a great shot blocker and rebounder, while also handling the ball very well."
A lifelong resident of Grosse Pointe, Dixon's unique family relationships also set him apart. His mom, Sue, and her three siblings, Amy Kish, Sally Wytwer, and John Leverenz, all live in Grosse Pointe and are fellow graduates of Grosse Pointe South. They all have children who have been outstanding student-athletes at Grosse Pointe South, as well.
"We are a very close-knit family," Dixon said. "I grew up being coached in baseball and basketball by my uncle, Ken Kish, and my father, Jim."
Kish was an All-State quarterback at Farmington Hills and a starter at Albion College, while Dixon's father played Division 1 basketball for Northern Illinois University. Dixon's siblings, Jimmy and Sally, were also fine student-athletes at South.
"I am fortunate to have so many great people in my family," Danny Dixon said. "I spent every year in school with one of my best friends, Rich Kish, who was the quarterback of the football team and a captain of the baseball team. How great is that? I have a ton of cousins and aunts and uncles who I have spent my whole life with in Grosse Pointe. They are supporting me and my decision to push college off one year so that I can attend the Impact Basketball Academy."
While Dixon's route to a collegiate career in basketball is an unconventional one, it's not one without a high probability of success.
During the past three years, Impact has placed 80 percent of its athletes into the collegiate basketball ranks and there is little doubt by those who know and love Dixon that his drive and development are going to secure his place among the ranks of those illustrious student-athletes who have gone on to successful collegiate careers.