Leading up to the 2008-09 ETSU women's basketball season, the ETSU media relations office, with help from graduate assistant Lindsay Christensen, will feature player profiles on all 12 of the Lady Buccaneer student-athletes. This new segment allows fans to catch a glimpse of what each player is doing off the court, as the Lady Bucs look to make a run at their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
At times freshman guard Natasha Dixon finds herself out of her norm, but it is her Lady Buccaneer family that keeps her at ease.
Since arriving at ETSU in August, things have been a little different for the Brooklyn, N.Y. native and it has taken Dixon some time to adjust.
"It has been a big change, but the team makes me feel comfortable here," she says.
So what's missing the most for the big city girl?
"The shopping," said Dixon. "I would bring all of Soho (a shopping district) here to Johnson City in a heartbeat. My style is a lot different from what you can find here. I have to go to Ashville just to get the shoes I like."
But luckily, there were other aspects of ETSU that pulled her in.
Dixon knew while she was on her first visit she would enjoy being a Lady Buccaneer.
"The coaches were always 100-percent honest with me," Dixon says. "They believed in me and the team was great. I meshed with them right away. There was no doubt about me leaving New York to play here, even though there are some aspects I still miss."
One of these aspects is playing street ball with a bunch of guys.
"I think I have learned to play like a guy from all the time I spent playing with them," said Dixon. "They never cut me a break because I was a girl. It was a physical and fast moving game, so that is how I play."
As for the Lady Bucs, the fast-paced tempo Dixon plays, fits right into head coach Karen Kemp's game plan, so hopefully it will have a positive impact on the team this season.
Outside of basketball, music is Dixon's passion.
Growing up, she was surrounded by it, as her father and uncle are co-founders of a record label. Because of this, Dixon has been getting her "internship" experiences since she was young. The company records, produces music videos, and manages artists. After college, Dixon wants to work with her family as a part of the label.
"In the beginning, it was exciting because of all the people I got to meet," she says. "Now I am very interested in the business side of the music."
One perk for Dixon, is she gets the opportunity to meet many of her idols, but still the music remains the most important part of her future. The communications major is planning to either work in public relations, or artist management, in either New York or Atlanta.
For Dixon, the toughest part of being away from home is not seeing her family. She is very close with both her parents, so the distance can be difficult. Dixon has always had a strong relationship with her father, who she says, pushed her to achieve things I was not sure I could. The guard also looks up to her mother, who she says, had to overcome so many difficulties. Dixon believes her parents, who are two strong individuals, are the reason she is at ETSU today.
"They not only gave me the opportunities to compete, but the drive to play at this level."
Come this November her family and Lady Buccaneer fans will get the chance to see that drive when she hits the court.