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Maryland great Juan Dixon tells HBO how he found out his father was alive

Maryland great Juan Dixon tells HBO how he found out his father was alive

Maryland Terrapins fans will always remember Juan Dixon as the player that helped deliver them a National Championship in 2002. 

They may also remember his backstory of tragedy shared so many times by the media during Maryland's NCAA Tournament run: Both Dixon's mother and father had died of complications from AIDS before he turned 17. It was his older brother Phil who played the parental role, cheering from the stands at every game. 

That was reality for Dixon and nearly every person watching him except for a Baltimore man named Bruce Flanigan. That's because Flanigan knew instantly at seeing Dixon's face that the Maryland star was his son. 

Now 38, Dixon shared the story of discovering his biological father in the upcoming episode of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, airing March 21 at 10:00 p.m.

The reunion only happened a year ago. That it happened at all is thanks to Flanigan's mother, who finally couldn't stop herself from boasting about her grandson. Word of her claim spread around the Baltimore community quickly until it reached Dixon. 

He insisted on arranging a meeting immediately and knew at first sight that Flanigan was his father. 

Flanigan said hadn't wanted to interfere with or appear to take credit for the success of a son he hadn't raised. But when confronted by Dixon, he was forced to re-evaluate the decision he made years ago to keep quiet. 

Dixon and his father now have a close relationship, but it has come at the expense of another core bond. Dixon's older brother Phil no longer speaks to him. 

But the Maryland star, now head coach of the women's basketball team at the University of the District of Columbia, has a father and grandmother cheering for him in the stands. He just hopes to add his brother to the mix someday soon. 

Hear Dixon and Flanigan tell the story in their own words when the episode airs on March 21 at 10:00 p.m. on HBO. 

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND’S SEASON COMES TO AN END AGAINST XAVIER

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Maryland gets great news as Anthony Cowan Jr. withdraws from NBA Draft to return for senior season

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Maryland gets great news as Anthony Cowan Jr. withdraws from NBA Draft to return for senior season

Anthony Cowan Jr. announced that he will return to Maryland basketball for his senior season after testing the NBA Draft waters.

Cowan, a local product out of St. John's College High School, has started every game at Maryland for the past three seasons. The point guard has led the Terps in scoring and assists the past two years, most recently helping the team to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. 

His return will be a huge boost to the Terrapins after big-man Bruno Fernando decided to forgo his eligibility for his final two seasons in College Park for the NBA Draft. Including Cowan, the team returns seven of its top eight scorers for the 2019-20 season and will be one of the more experienced squads in the nation.

With Cowan staying at Maryland, NBC Sports' Rob Dauster says that the Terps will be a potential top-five team entering the season.

His decision came hours before Wednesday's NBA draft withdrawal deadline. Earlier on the same day, he worked out for the Sacramento Kings, according to Baltimore Sun reporter Don Markus.

While Cowan has shown an impressive ability to lead his team in his three years, he was not a projected pick for the 2019 NBA draft. It's another year for the senior to display his ability, and lead a talented team to national prominence after he only scored 20 points in two NCAA Tournament games last year. 

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Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage is the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect’. Download the MyTeams App for all three features.

Darnell Savage Jr. spent four seasons wowing fans in College Park as a defensive star for the Maryland Terrapins, and in April he found out he’ll be taking his talents to Wisconsin after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Now, his future in Green Bay is officially official.

As Schefter mentions, Savage is the first first-rounder to sign a contract in 2019. It will be the standard length of first-round draft picks, going four years guaranteed with a fifth-year option. Reports are that the speedy, hard-hitting safety will earn $12.5 million over the first four seasons of the contract.

There were some questions about Savage’s fit in an NFL defensive backfield, given his size. But he is an athletic player with great instincts for the ball, and his statistics were thoroughly impressive the last two seasons in college. The Packers certainly believed he would be a terrific fit in their defense, considering they traded up to the 21st pick in order to make the selection.

Savage should have a great opportunity to start early in Green Bay, and now that he’s signed his contract so early, he’ll be able to get to work sooner rather than later. Knowing Savage, that’s just the way he wants it.

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