High School Volleyball

Weatherford libero was on the verge of quitting. Now she’s going to play at UNT

Weatherford’s Jordan Burks signs with North Texas

District 3-6A Defensive MVP and a TGCA all-star, Burks graduated from Weatherford a year early and will report to UNT on August 9.
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District 3-6A Defensive MVP and a TGCA all-star, Burks graduated from Weatherford a year early and will report to UNT on August 9.

Jordan Burks may not have the most recognizable name, but if you watched her on the court, you’ll soon realize she’s one of the toughest volleyball players around.

The Weatherford libero graduated a year early and signed her letter of intent on Wednesday to continue her career at the University of North Texas.

But there was a time when Burks lost her passion for the game and was going to give up volleyball.

“I was 14 and we were at the Lone Star Tournament, trying to get a bid for nationals. I was playing left back and me and a teammate dove for a ball. She hit my shoulder and it popped out. I ended up tearing my labrum,” she said. “It kept popping in and out during the match, but I didn’t tell my coach. I played through the pain because we needed that bid.”

Her club team clinched a spot at nationals, but Burks needed shoulder surgery during the summer prior to her freshman year at Weatherford. She missed that season and was the team manager.

However, it was the road to recovery that was the hardest for the young defender.

“I was pretty close to quitting,” Burks said. “I’d do rehab and try to serve from the 10-foot line and couldn’t get the ball over. I thought there’s no way I can do this and get my shoulder back to where it was.”

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Weatherford’s Jordan Burks signs with North Texas, surrounded by her family. Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com

Her mother, Diane, suggested she play sand volleyball to get her love back. It was easier on her body and the passion started to return.

“I’d would say to anyone, don’t lose the love,” Burks said. “When I came back, I had nothing to lose. I just wanted to have fun. The injury was a wake-up call.”

Burks played on varsity the past two seasons and quickly became one of the top defensive players in Dallas-Fort Worth.

She was named District 3-6A Defensive MVP and a Texas Girls Coaches Association All-Star last season after registering 722 digs and 37 aces. She finished her career with 1,078 digs and 57 aces.

“It’s gone by really fast. Everything is real. Before I would say I’m going to UNT and I’m graduating early, but now I actually did that. I got my diploma. I’m really excited about it,” Burks said. “I’m going to miss the Weatherford community and team spirit. I loved how the whole town would come watch and support us.”

Burks reports to UNT on Aug. 9. The season starts Aug. 21 at SMU.

“It’s going to be another level,” she said. “Practices and the competition are going to much harder than high school, but it’s going to be really fun and I’m excited. North Texas is going to be awesome.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.