NEW YORK -- The Maggie Dixon Classic has found a permanent
home at Madison Square Garden, and her brother thinks that's a
perfect place to honor the late Army women's basketball coach.
"The Garden approached us last year, but we felt that the first
one should be at West Point," Pitt men's basketball coach Jamie
Dixon said. "The next one should be at Madison Square Garden since
that's where all of basketball starts."
The second annual Maggie Dixon Classic will be played Dec. 8 at
the Garden with a women's basketball doubleheader featuring
Rutgers, Duke, Pitt and Army. It is the first women's doubleheader
there since 1981, when Rutgers, Louisiana Tech, Old Dominion and
Cheyney State took part.
Maggie Dixon died April 6, 2006 of arrhythmia, probably caused
by an enlarged heart. Her death came three weeks after her first
season as a head coach, a performance that won the admiration of
the academy and all of college basketball.
"With the addition of these games to our schedule, we are proud
to commemorate and celebrate Maggie's passion for the sport," said
Joel Fisher, senior vice president, MSG Sports Properties.
National runner-up Rutgers will face Army in one game and Duke
will meet Pitt in the other.
"I don't think you could have picked four better teams with the
tradition of their programs," Dixon said. "The hope is to make
this the premier women's basketball event."
Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said the Classic is special
because of Dixon.
"She embodied all that is good about this profession,"
First-year Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie was happy her team was
part of the event.
"Maggie set such a high standard in all that she did," she
The inaugural Maggie Dixon classic was held at West Point last
season -- a men's and women's doubleheader. Pitt's men's team beat
Western Michigan and Ohio State routed Army. The highlight was a
ceremony between games in which Maggie Dixon's parents, sister
Julie Dixon-Silva and Jamie Dixon were presented with a ring
commemorating the 2005-06 Patriot League championship. Banners
honoring that title and Maggie's selection as conference coach of
the year were unfurled at Christl Arena.
Jamie Dixon said he wouldn't be able to attend the games at the
Garden this year, but his parents and sister will be there.