The Washington Wizards may have sent him packing, but Juan Dixon has wasted no time rebounding from the rejection.
The former Maryland basketball star came a step closer this week to signing an $8 million, three-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers just weeks after the Wizards dumped him.
But before heading West, Dixon is scheduled to seal a deal of a different sort tonight when he marries his high school sweetheart, Robyn Bragg, in a ceremony at the Galleria at Lafayette Centre in Washington.
And what a catch Bragg is. When reached on her cell phone yesterday, Bragg - a McDonogh School and Maryland grad - apologized for not being able to talk.
"I'm actually in rehearsal," Bragg said demurely. "Can I call you back in an hour?"
Talk about grace under pressure. Icing a buzzer-beating three-pointer is nothing compared to juggling the final details of a wedding.
Later, in an interview, she said she was exasperated with the pressures of a week that included a wedding and packing.
"It's been a very, very hectic week," said Bragg, 26, who recently left her job at Under Armour to deal with the details of a ceremony that will feature about 400 guests, a 12-person wedding party and a dress from Justina McCaffrey Haute Couture.
The two became engaged in October when Dixon wrote in the sands of Miami Beach: "RB - Will you marry me?"
Despite the bittersweet pending move to Portland, the week has been one of tremendous joy for the couple, especially considering where Dixon has come from. The basketball star grew up in some of Baltimore's toughest neighborhoods. His parents were heroin addicts who died of AIDS before his stellar skills at Calvert Hall College High School landed him at the University of Maryland.
At College Park, he helped lead the Terps to the 2002 NCAA title and became the school's all-time leading scorer. The Wizards picked him 17th in the 2002 draft. Dixon became an unrestricted free agent this year when the team did not pick up a contract option for a fourth season.
And Bragg has been with him through nearly all of it. She was not only his girlfriend but a defensive practice partner at all-night shoot-arounds in college. The two have been dating since 1996, when she was a senior and Dixon was a junior.
It's no surprise that the wedding will feature so many guests considering the wide network of family, friends and neighbors who rallied to Dixon's side after his parents died.
"We're all excited," said Sheila Dixon, an aunt who is also president of the Baltimore City Council. "I'm just going to enjoy the festivities and boo-hoo and cry."