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A 6-foot-10 Admiral in the ‘Mix’
Big man transfer Ben Mixer hopes to disrupt enemy paint plans as FHS post

Ben Mixer’s presence has allowed Farragut High School basketball to reach new heights in the Donald Dodgen era.

“Ben’s the biggest guy I’ve had here ... he gives us something we haven’t had in the past,” coach Dodgen said about the the 6-foot-10, 260-pounder rising senior post (pictured right) who has transferred from Centennial High School in Franklin.

A two-year letterman at CHS, Mixer was a back-up center for the Cougars in 2007-08. He avoided talk about personal accolades, only saying he was interested “in playing and winning.”

As for his new home and new role, “I like the area, it’s going to be fun,” Mixer said. “I’m a little sad to leave my friends, but Farragut’s a really good school. I’ve already made friends with the basketball team. They have a great reputation, so I’m glad to be going there.”

Dodgen, about to enter his 13th season as Admirals’ skipper in 2008-09, said Mixer is “ going to be a great asset to our program. ... He runs the floor well, and he’s a great team player. He just walked in the first day and just fit in great with us. Great attitude. Our kids accepted him very well. He caught onto the system very quickly.

“He’s a great shot blocker — he’s the type of guy that blocks a shot and it doesn’t go up in the stands,” Dodgen added. “He’s a real good passer, and he’s got good moves around the basket. He’s so strong around the basket.”

As for weaknesses, “I think he needs to work on his 12- to 15-foot jump shot,” Dodgen said. “And he needs to work on ballhandling.”

Ben’s biggest strength in his eyes? “My size ... and I’ve gotten really good at defense,” he said. “I don’t move that much unless people try to really move me. It’s very hard to move me.”

His personal goal for the 2008-09 season? “Just get to state ... and be a team player,” Mixer said.

As for why he’s here, “My mom got a job over at U-T.” Mixer said about the main reason for the move: Sandra Mixer will become a nursing professor at UT. “This is a great opportunity for my mom, I’m happy for her.”

Ben said it was his call as to which high school, and therefore what part of Knox County in which the family would reside.

“My parents gave me a couple of school options and I went and tried to make a decision. It was really hard. ... All the schools I checked out I enjoyed a lot,” he said.

Having worked out with the Ads before making his decision, “Farragut fit the best with me,” Mixer said, adding head coach Donald Dodgen “is a great coach, very knowledgeable. Hopefully we can have a great year.”

Mixer, 17, said “a few” small colleges have shown interest in his skills, but did not name any.


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