The Herald Bulletin

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Sports

June 23, 2014

Highland's Dixon-Tatum gets look from Pacers

ANDERSON — Asauhn Dixon-Tatum paused during a cellphone interview Monday evening from Indianapolis International Airport to take stock of his busy day.

"It felt amazing," he said. "It was great to actually be out on the court."

The Highland High School graduate and Auburn University standout spent the early afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, working out with about a half-dozen other players as the Indiana Pacers wrap up preparations for Thursday's NBA Draft.

Dixon-Tatum got the chance to meet Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird and head coach Frank Vogel during individual drills with the team's staff after the workout. And he hopes he hasn't seen the last of them.

Indiana has no first-round pick this year, and the 7-foot center nicknamed ADT because of his initials and the way he protects the rim, could be in play when the team goes on the clock with the 57th overall selection in Round 2.

"I sure hope so," Dixon-Tatum said. "I gave them what I can at the workout."

On the defensive end of the court, particularly, that's quite a bit.

Dixon-Tatum — who stood 6-9 and weighed 190 pounds when he graduated as a Scot — now has a wingspan of 7-4 and a reach of 9-2. He's added 40 pounds of muscle to his frame, and he's become a force in the paint.

Dixon-Tatum blocked 64 shots in 30 games last season at Auburn, being named the Tigers' best defender for the second straight year. He also averaged 6 points and 6 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game.

His experience in the Southeastern Conference — after two years at Chattahoochee Tech in Marietta, Ga. — emboldens his belief he can play with basketball's best.

"Playing at such a high level would give everybody confidence," Dixon-Tatum said. "I know I can play at a high level."

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