Stepping Up

Gerry Wixted

Gerry Wixted ’15 was always the tallest kid in his class. He began playing organized basketball when he was about 10 years old, and he could dunk by the time he was a high-school sophomore. So it makes sense that he would end up playing collegiate ball, and Dickinson is glad to have the 6-foot-7-inch forward.

The Moorestown, N.J., native scored 20 points the first time he wore a Red Devils jersey, but he says it wasn’t as easy as walking on and dropping bucket after bucket.

“It was a big adjustment coming to college,” Wixted says. “I’m a big homebody, so not having my parents at every game”—he laughs-—“it was definitely a little nerve-racking.” Wixted also found another element of college basketball jarring at first. “Coming in with mostly upperclassman last year, it struck me how physical and fast the game was,” he says. “It was challenging.”

Facing that challenge head-on, Wixted went on that season to average 17 points and just over nine rebounds per game, both of which led the team. He also set a Dickinson record for free throws, sinking 157 of 182 (he made 26 of these consecutively to start the season).

Citing his desire to attend a college where his on-court time would be balanced by a full academic experience, the history major says he already is looking to put his Dickinson education to work, first in graduate school and then in law school.

Wixted’s second season included recovering from a fractured thumb while helping the Devils advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in team history. He was named Centennial Conference (CC) Men’s Basketball Player of the Week twice and earned a spot on the All-CC Team and led the team in points, rebounds and free throws.

“We got the school’s first 20-win season, hosted an NCAA tournament game for the first time and took the conference for the first time since 1997,” Wixted says. “Even though we had dreams of going further than the second round of the tournament, we accomplished a lot of things we can be proud of, and we made a lot of memories that will last a lifetime.” With the ink barely dry on the 2013 season, Wixted is already looking ahead to 2014, which will find the team without six graduating seniors.

“We’re ready to take another step forward and carry on the legacy that the class of 2013 helped create,” he says. “Make no mistake, the future is very bright.”

Published Apr. 11, 2013