Brandon Dixon, a former Plymouth Whitemarsh high school basketball star and youth coach, has died at 30

Brandon Dixon, a former Plymouth Whitemarsh high school basketball star and youth coach, has died at 30


Editor’s note: This obituary is presented in partnership with the Philadelphia Obituary Projecta nonprofit committed to memorializing city victims of homicide whose deaths have otherwise been overlooked.

Brandon Dixon, 30, formerly of Germantown, a basketball star at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School who coached kids and was father to a 5-year-old daughter, died Monday, May 9, after being shot while pumping gas on East Mount Airy Avenue.

A talented athlete, Mr. Dixon grew up playing basketball and football on the west side of Germantown. But the summer after his freshman year, his mother, Lisa Dixon, moved the family to Plymouth Meeting in Montgomery County over concerns about increasing crime in the city.

Mr. Dixon flourished at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. He was a standout varsity basketball player and was credited as instrumental in helping the Colonials win the PIAA championship in 2010.

After high school, Mr. Dixon attended Manor College in Jenkintown but after one semester left to work for a roofing company. He became a father in 2017 when his daughter was born.

His mother inherited her grandmother’s house in Germantown and returned to the city despite her unease about crime. Mr. Dixon, who had remained in Montgomery County, moved back in with his mother in March after he and his girlfriend broke up.

Two months later, Mr. Dixon was at the Liberty gas station in the 1000 block of East Mount Airy Avenue when he was ambushed by two shooters. Surveillance video provided by authorities has been widely publicized due to the brazen nature of the attack.

So far, police have made one arrest, a man who had attended a funeral for a murdered friend; authorities believe the random attack on Mr. Dixon was to punish someone.

Mr. Dixon’s mother is convinced her son’s killers need nurturing.

“Through this whole ordeal, all I wanted to do was hug my son,” she said. “I went to the scene of the crime. Could not hug my son. Went to the hospital. Could not hug my son. Went to the morgue. Could not hug my son. So, I want to hug these guys because somewhere, somehow, something is missing in your life to make you do this to someone who has done nothing to you.”

Mr. Dixon was born Nov. 19, 1991, in Philadelphia to Lisa Dixon and his father, Kenneth Singleton. Mr. Dixon had an older brother and younger sister.

He and his mother shared birthdays in the same week, as well as a close relationship. Mr. Dixon and his father bonded over sports, always texting each other about games. He also picked up his sister and mother good-naturedly and liked making them laugh.

He took up football and basketball in elementary school. He played for the Mount Airy Bantams, and in 2007 he was given the team’s Longevity Award for his contributions to the team over nine years.

After his high school basketball career was over, Mr. Dixon coached youth basketball, which he loved. He also loved fashion and took pride in his appearance.

One of his mother’s last memories of Mr. Dixon was how he took care of her when she was sick in the days leading up to Mother’s Day. For three days her son doted on her, and then on Mother’s Day, she woke up feeling better.

“He was watching a game, and I said, ‘Babe, you hungry?’” Lisa Dixon recalled. “He said he wanted the biggest steak with string beans and mashed potatoes. I made it for him, he ate it, and we went to bed, never knowing that the next day would be the last time I would ever see him.”

Mr. Dixon’s mother is determined to find something positive in his death. She wants to fight the NRA and government leaders who haven’t regulated assault-style weapons. She also wants to continue being a loving, kind, nurturing figure for her students, who are ages 3 to 5.

After Mr. Dixon’s death, his former classmates and coaches from Plymouth Whitemarsh held a vigil and balloon release. He was buried at Chelten Hills Cemetery.

A reward of up to $20,000 is available to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Mr. Dixon’s murder. Anonymous calls may be placed to the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-TIPS.

Resources are available for people and communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Click here for more information.

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