HBO Covers UMD Basketball Great Juan Dixon’s Relationship with His Long-Lost Biological Father

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Still via HBO’s “Real Sports

Terp fans had a rough week after the men’s squad was bounced from the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. However, thanks to HBO, they’ll get to relive a small piece of their team’s past glory through a touching new segment about a Terps legend and native Baltimorean.

Tonight, HBO’s “Real Sports” with Bryant Gumbel will tell of how former NBA and UMD point guard Juan Dixon – who up until 2016 thought both of his biological parents died of AIDS during his youth – rekindled his relationship with his long-lost biological father.

As the Baltimore Sun reported, Dixon discovered last August that his birth father, Bruce Flanigan, was still alive.

Dixon rose to glory as the leader of a 2002 Terps team that brought home the school’s sole NCAA title. He was subsequently drafted by the Washington Wizards and played around the NBA for eight seasons. He followed that with three more seasons playing abroad before he became a special assistant under current Terps coach Mark Turgeon for three years. Last fall, he took his first head coaching job with the University of the District of Columbia’s women’s basketball team.

But there’s far more to Dixon’s story than what he accomplished in his basketball career. In the trailer for the HBO episode of “Real Sports,” he describes watching people around him disappear as he was growing up in Baltimore, saying it was “hard to witness” and that he missed out on having his parents watch him from the stands.

But, as the clip recounts, while Dixon was playing in college, his biological father was watching at home as broadcasters described the tragedy of Dixon losing his mother and father at a young age.

“I thought to myself, ‘One father is alive,’” Flanigan says in the video.

The full story will air tonight on HBO’s “Real Sports” at 10 p.m.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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