DURHAM, N.H. – Former University of New Hampshire men’s basketball athlete Rob Dixon has been named one of five finalists for People Magazine’s 2009 “All-Stars Among Us,” and will be honored by the five living Presidents of the United States at the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis, Mo., on July 14, live on FOX at 8 p.m. One winning "All-Star Among Us" will be featured in People the week of the All-Star Game.
Dixon was chosen from thousands of candidates as one of three Boston market finalists, then selected to represent the Boston Red Sox as one of the 30 finalists from each Major League Baseball market, and now is one of the final five standing.
All five living U.S. Presidents will appear in a video salute to the five finalists in an unprecedented collaboration prior to Tuesday's Midsummer Classic. President Barack Obama, who later will throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 80th All-Star Game, will be joined in the seven-minute video by Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. The occasion will mark the first time all of the living presidents participate in any sporting-event ceremony.
Dixon, who will be highlighted in the video by former President George W. Bush, runs Project RISE (Respect, Integrity and Success through Education), a nonprofit organization that provides an academic summer camp for at-risk African American children from the City of Boston. Amazingly, 96 percent of participants graduate from high school and over 170 individuals have attended four-year colleges, with almost all of them being the first in their family to attend college.
Dixon, a Dorchester, Mass., native, played at UNH from 1979-83 is the Wildcats’ second all-time leading scorer with 1,590 points. Dixon, who was an All-North Atlantic Conference First Team selection in 1982-83, is the all-time program leader in free throws made (340), third all-time in field goals made (625) and is in the top 10 in scoring average (15.1 ppg), assists (272), steals (121) and minutes played (3,097). After graduating, Dixon continued his basketball career by playing for the NBA's Washington Bullets, as well as overseas before becoming an educator.
“I am deeply honored to be a finalist for this very prestigious award,” Dixon said in a statement released by Project RISE. “When I started Project RISE fourteen years ago I never would have imagined the potential of being honored at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. I am even more excited about the national exposure Project RISE will have, which in turn will allow us to increase the number of children's lives we can have an impact on.”
The “All-Stars Among Us” campaign recognizes individuals who are serving their communities in extraordinary ways and is central to the 2009 MLB All-Star Summer program dedicated to charitable initiatives and recognition of the important role of community service.