Jordan Burgess ’12 had the honor of being named the 2011-12 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year on Tuesday. Jordan was surprised with the news during her history class, when USA Volleyball’s 2011 Beach Female Athlete of the Year, April Ross, presented her with the trophy. The celebration continued, as Jordan was honored in front of her family, teammates and peers at convocation.
“Today has been a complete surprise,” Jordan said. “This award, more than any other, is so prestigious. Only the best of the best receive it, and I think I have a lot to live up to. The entire experience has been extremely humbling, and I am honored.”
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Jordan as the nation’s best high school volleyball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Jordan from more than 400,000 high school volleyball players nationwide. Jordan is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
“To be a part of a group of such accomplished athletes and to have my name be associated with them in any way, is an honor,” said Jordan. “It is amazing to me the effort that so many people have put into this day. I am so grateful for all of it.”
Burgess has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. A founding director of the “Everyone Should Play” Foundation, a charitable initiative formed in 2009 to assist the area’s disadvantaged youth offset sports registration fees and equipment costs. The 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter led the Buccaneers to a 30-2 record and a third consecutive state championship this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year, Jordan amassed 553 kills, 366 digs, 48 service aces, 38 assists and 32 blocks while recording a .457 hitting percentage.
“My teammates have supported me through everything and have always wanted to help me become the best player that I can be. I hope that they enjoy this day as much as I will, because the truth is that I could not have done any of this without them.”
Congratulations, Jordan! The Berkeley community is proud of everything that you have and will continue to accomplish on and off the court.