Stories about athletes going from homeless to the pros are few and far between. However, in the Dixon household, it has become a common occurrence.
San Francisco 49ers running back Anthony Dixon helped pave the way.
When he was a kid growing up in Terry, Miss., he had to help raise his three brothers, because his mom, Velma, was forced to work three jobs after a divorce left her with no child support.
Anthony, 25, the oldest brother, was a father figure for his younger brothers, Antwon, 24, Rashun, 22, and Deshun, 21. He apparently did a great job.
Currently, Rashun is an outfielder with the Stockton Ports in the Oakland Athletics organization, Deshun is an outfielder in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, and Antwon played football at Midwestern State University.
With a tough upbringing now behind them, the Dixons find the challenges presented on the field of play simple to conquer.
Based on how bumpy the road was for the brothers, it’s amazing that two of them play professional ball so close to each other — especially when considering the fact they play different sports.
“Oh man, it’s the best,” Anthony said of playing so close to his brother Rashun. “Every time he has a game close by I attend and try to be one of his loudest and biggest supporters in the stands. I know how tough it is to be out there on the road by himself and out there trying to make something of himself.”
Rashun stays in Northern California in the baseball offseason and gets to see almost all of his older brother’s games with the 49ers in person. They encourage each other, but it’s the way they competed and pushed one another that kept them going during the hard times.
That hasn’t changed. When asked, each of the Northern California based brothers claimed to be the best athlete in the family. Technically, it’s still possible that Rashun could end up playing football to prove it. He has eligibility remaining at Mississippi State if he wants to put the pads back on. It’s up to Rashun, because there’s no chance Anthony is stepping in a batter’s box any time soon.
“Rashun was a good football player,” the elder Dixon said. “I feel like he could come out here and dominate. If he ever wanted to put the baseball bat down, I definitely feel he could make the transition.”
From homeless to sports heroes. The Dixon bros. are a true example of the American Dream. Their story proves that almost anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
“It was a struggle, but it made us stronger,” Anthony Dixon said. “We are definitely stronger for it today.”