This is the first post in what will hopefully be a long line of first-hand stories written by members of The Untouchables, a Pitt alumni team that competes in The Basketball Tournament (TBT). Follow along on Twitter for more updates. Please tweet comments or post below your thoughts on the piece and what more you would like to see!
By Jermaine Dixon
Basketball has done so much for me in life.
Specifically, 2008 was a great year for me. I got my AS degree from Tallahassee Community College and had just finished my sophomore season as one of the top players in JUCO and one of the greats to come through the small Florida school.
In February of 2008 I signed my Letter of Intent to play for the University of Pittsburgh, thus starting my journey as a Panther. Looking back, my two years in Pittsburgh were probably the greatest time of my basketball career.
I played for the No. 1 team in the country, and I played in the NCAA tournament both years, while advancing to the Elite Eight one season. But, the best part was the relationships I built with my teammates. It's a true brotherhood that I built with those guys.
After I left Pittsburgh, I always dreamed of playing with at least one of my brothers again. Thanks to The Basketball Tournament, in 2016 I got to relive that feeling again playing with Levance (Fields), Brad (Wanamaker), Gary (McGhee) and Gilbert (Brown). I also was able to play with Tone (Antonio) Graves a former PITT great before me.
The minute I got on the court with them again, the chemistry was there like it never left. We hadn’t played together for so long, yet the TBT ride felt like a time machine, somehow we were back in Oakland playing together again.
I had so much fun playing with my former Panther brothers. From watching Gary control the paint on the defensive side of the ball, to watching Gil fly threw the air with aggressive dunks. I enjoyed watching Brad do it all on the court, while watching Levance hit tough shot after tough shot, drawing contact and finishing on big fellas like he is a 6'3” point guard.
Even though we came up short on what we was trying to accomplish, there was no greater feeling than to get back on the court with my brothers.
Some say that you cannot always go home, that’s what happened in the past stayed in the past. Well let me tell you, even if the glory years of college are in the past, there is nothing like a reminder of the good times.