Since 2006, the 30-year-old guard has played basketball overseas for teams in France, Poland, Italy, and, for the last two years, Pınar Karsıyaka of the Turkish Basketball League. On Sunday, his late free throw gave Pinar a 66-65 victory over Anadolu Efes in the championship game of the Turkish Cup tournament — the NBA Finals of hoops in Turkey.
"My basketball career has been good so far, I've had ups and downs, but mainly I'm blessed to be here, and I'm enjoying every moment," Dixon, who won MVP honors after scoring 19 points with five rebounds and six assists in the finals, wrote in an email to DNAinfo Chicago.
"I've been to many different countries, and I have a different view of the world because of it," added the 5-foot-10-inch guard, who carried Pinar to its first title in the Turkish Cup, which originated in 1967.
Dixon's first years were spent in Cabrini-Green, where an older brother was killed in a drive-by shooting. He later moved to Uptown and played basketball at Sullivan High School before he was arrested for dealing drugs before his senior year.
Dixon would receive a GED from the Cook County Boot Camp and earn a scholarship and associate's degree from Kankakee Community College. He then transferred to Division I Troy University in Alabama, where he averaged 14.7 points per game as a junior and 17.9 ppg as a senior in 2005-06.
Dixon said he's loved living throughout the world as a professional hoops player. His current home is a stylish apartment in Izmir, Turkey, the country's third-largest city, which rests along the Aegean Sea.
"The view here is beautiful and different and unique in its own way," Dixon said. "The city is beautiful, close to the sea, with warm weather and tropical."
Still, Dixon considers Chicago his home. For the past several summers, he's returned to the Windy City to conduct basketball camps for players ages 10-17. He also said he mentors children and helps them "avoid bad decisions that can hinder their success."
"I'm just showing them what it takes to be successful, just because it's the right thing to do," Dixon said.
"Chicago is ... the city I love. It's where I got my attitude and heart from. It's a tough city that can break you down, and it also builds character if you're willing to work."
"[And] I've realized how privileged it is to have been born in America," he said.