Eager Jordan comes to Syracuse from athletic family ready to contribute

first_imgAs Venus Williams proudly raised her first Wimbledon trophy in the air, a 5-year-old girl decided she wanted to try and follow in her footsteps.“I was 5 years old and was like, ‘How come you guys didn’t put me on the tennis court?’” Katia Jordan said. “So that is how I got into tennis.”Fourteen years later, the Syracuse freshman has worked tirelessly to make it onto the SU tennis team. Although the Pikesville, Md., native has yet to play in a match for the team while battling injuries, her work ethic has stood out to coaches and teammates. And with the injury to senior captain Aleah Marrow and the disappointing start to the season, the Orange (0-6, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) may need Jordan as it hosts Virginia Tech (8-3, 1-1) and Virginia (7-2, 2-0) this weekend.Jordan grew up in a family of athletes. Both of her parents played tennis, although not as their primary sports. Her mother, Angel Jordan, briefly ran track for Morgan State and her father Anthony Jordan played basketball at Cheyney University. Her cousin Brian Jordan played 15 years in the MLB and three in the NFL.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Being around family with (Brian) and everybody, it’s just kind of born in us,” Jordan said. “We’re a sports family. Everyone in our family does sports.”After the Wimbledon match, Jordan slowly invested more and more of her time into tennis. She started hitting with her parents in the driveway. Soon, she would start taking lessons at the nearby Hilton Hotel and would go there for tennis camps, as well.At the age of 9, Jordan entered her first tournament and lost badly, but it motivated her to start taking tennis even more seriously.“That was the day where I was like ‘I really need to get serious,’” Jordan said. “I lost pretty badly, but I had so much fun out there. And my parents were so proud of me. And I just love that feeling. From that day on, I was like I need to really pursue this.”As she grew older and graduated middle school, Jordan realized she would need to dedicate a lot of her time in high school to tennis if she wanted to reach her goals. So she decided instead of attending a public high school, she would be home-schooled and take classes online so she could fit everything into her schedule. Jordan would wake up early and use all the available daylight she could to practice tennis. By having the ability to schedule her schoolwork when it best fit into her schedule, Jordan had more time to work on maximizing her tennis skills.Eventually, schools started noticing. She received local offers from schools such as Morgan State, but Jordan had her heart set on Syracuse. She loved that former SU head coach Luke Jensen and interim coach Shelley George take their players to pro tournaments. Like Jensen, who worked for ESPN, Jordan also wants to have a future in sports broadcasting.“I was really hooked on Syracuse,” Jordan said. “I wrote in to coach Jensen and coach George and said I really need to go to this program.”Jordan took it upon herself to seek out Jensen and George, writing letters to the school and calling them. Her initiative and work ethic impressed both Jensen and George, leading them to invite her to attend Syracuse.“She’s a great athlete,” George said. “She was very persuasive and she knew she wanted to be here. She sold herself as far as her work ethic and her ability.”Jordan said she has enjoyed her transition to Syracuse and all the new friends she has made, and fellow freshman Rhiann Newborn has noticed how hard Jordan has worked since arriving on campus.“She’s a hard worker,” Newborn said. “She’s working hard on the tennis court and getting ready for that next match, whenever she plays again.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 27, 2014 at 12:16 am Contact Ryan: [email protected]last_img

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