TWU softball player and Grapevine native up for NCAA Woman of the Year award

Posted Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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From the time she began playing sports, Jordan Readicker pushed herself above and beyond the competition level of her peers.

She was the lone pony-tailed player on all-boys teams throughout her elementary school days.

When the Grapevine native was around 12, she earned the right to represent the Dallas Cowboys and North Texas in a national punt, pass and kick competition. Her mother, Robyn, was approached by a reporter from the Star-Telegram to do a story on the young athlete, but her mother insisted the paper wait until she did something especially newsworthy.

Just over 10 years later, Readicker has done just that. Here is her story.

Last week, Readicker received notice she was selected as the Lone Star Conference’s nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which selects the female student-athlete who demonstrated great success in leadership, academics and athletics through all three divisions of the NCAA.

Readicker, a softball infielder for Texas Women’s University in her senior season this spring, joins the ranks of standout collegiate women’s athletes like Delaware basketball star and current member of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, Elena Delle Donne.

Readicker said when she first received the nomination paperwork from an athletics department administrator at TWU, she was shocked.

“I never thought what I was doing for the school and softball and the community was something that could get a nomination for Woman of the Year,” Readicker said.

Behind the scenes, Readicker served as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for TWU in her senior year, which gives student-athletes a voice about school and NCAA policy that affects the athletic programs. She was a softball representative all four years she was at the school and served as secretary her junior year.

On the field, Readicker demonstrated her softball prowess and leadership as her TWU softball team united the campus and punched the school’s first ever ticket to the Division II Women’s College World Series.

She didn’t do any of this for herself or for the glory of her senior year in college. Alongside her entire softball team and the school, Readicker gave her all to honor her fallen friend and teammate, Abby Burns, who died of complications of acute myeloid leukemia in April of this year.

Along with the rigors of her academic, athletic and leadership roles at TWU, she stuck by Burns as her health began to deteriorate and was at her side at Medical City Dallas when Burns passed away.

TWU retired Burns’ number the week after she died, with Readicker holding her jersey during the starting lineups to honor her friend. She followed that gesture with a walk-off home run to win the game she dedicated to Burns’ memory.

“I think her story and her battle and us coming closer together taught us to keep pushing forward and to fight for what you believe in,” Readicker said. “She was the reason why this team pushed so hard, and a big reason why we did so good this year.”

Readicker graduated from TWU in December and began an MBA program during her final season of softball with aims at a career in a field she has already excelled – caring for others.

She hopes to one day oversee or own a retirement center for the elderly and currently works at one in Denton while finishing her master’s degree.

“I have a heart for the people and a passion for it, and I’m glad that I’m able to stick with what I’ve said I wanted to do since I was 6 years old and I still love every minute of it,” she said.

As far as the award is concerned, Readicker must wait until September, when the field is narrowed once again to 30 finalists from which the winner will be picked.

Regardless of the outcome, the nomination makes for a story Robyn Readicker is more than eager to share.

“I’ve been there through all the bad times, and more bad times than good,” Robyn Readicker said. “We’ve been proud of her all along the way, but I think the nomination for Woman of the Year was icing on top of the cake.”

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