April 30, 2019 / Trailblazer basketball players George Dixon, Kevin Kangu sign with NCAA Division I programs
George Dixon and Kevin Kangu signing ceremony photo
VINCENNES, Ind. – Vincennes University sophomores George Dixon and Kevin Kangu signed with NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs on Tuesday.
Dixon inked a letter of intent with Eastern Illinois University. Kangu signed a letter of intent to play for Oakland University.
Dixon chose Eastern Illinois, which is coached by Jay Spoonhour, for many reasons.
“They’ve been telling me they wanted me for a long, long time,” Dixon said. “When I went there, I felt like I fit. Eastern Illinois is a big business school and I’m going out for business management. The coach really wants me to there and wants me to bring my game to the team.”
The 6-foot-5 forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin led the Trailblazers in rebounding with an 8.9 average and steals per game with 1.3. He averaged 11.2 points per game. He received All-Region 24 honors.
“George will have a chance to be effective doing what he does in the Ohio Valley Conference,” VU Men's Basketball Coach Todd Franklin said. “Eastern brings back basically everybody. With the addition of George, I think Eastern thinks they have chance to get in the upper portion of the OVC.”
Dixon will reunite with former VU teammate Rade Kukobat, who will be a senior on the Eastern Illinois roster.
“Having Rade Kukobat there is a bonus,” Dixon said. “It’s going to be fun teaming up with him.”
Kangu visited Oakland’s campus on Monday.
“Our apartments are close to the gym so that’s good for me because I can be in the gym all day, every day,” Kangu said. “They have an all black court. They have a great coaching staff. The head coach Greg Kampe is a winner just like Coach Franklin. It’s good for me to be alongside a winning coach.”
Kampe ranks in the top 14 for most wins among active Division I coaches. He has coached Oakland since 1984 and has more than 600 career wins.
The location of Oakland’s campus also factored into Kangu’s decision. The university is located near Detroit in Rochester, Michigan, which is around a three-hour drive from his hometown of Burlington, Canada.
Oakland is getting a 6-foot-3 guard who earned a spot on the all-tourney team at the national tournament. He averaged 8.1 points.
“Oakland is one of the better teams in the Horizon League,” Franklin said. “They’ve got some good guys back. They lost a grad transfer guard that they thought was coming back and that’s where Kevin came in.”
Dixon, Kangu and Keith Clemons are members of the 2019 NJCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship team who have announced their future plans.
Clemons recently signed with Loyola-Chicago, a 2018 NCAA Division I Final Four qualifier.
“All three of our guys have signed with teams who should be at the top of their leagues,” Franklin said. “Whether it’s Keith at Loyola where they need a guard. Whether it’s George adding some strength, toughness and maybe some low-block scoring on an Eastern Illinois team that has a strong nucleus coming back. To Oakland, which is always at the top of their league. They lost a grad transfer which can open up a position for Kevin if he can step in and do his job, then they should be where they thought they should be, which is one of the best teams in the league.
“All three of those guys are going to good programs and good places.”
Vincennes University Newsroom
Vincennes University Trailblazer Athletics
MARCIA MARTINEZ, Sports Information Director & University Life Reporter
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VINCENNES UNIVERSITY, Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom