Gatorade® National Volleyball Player of the Year: Jordan Burgess

World Champion and Pro Beach Volleyball Player April Ross Surprises Standout with Elite Honor

Jan 10, 2012, 10:30 ET from Gatorade

TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 27th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS today announced Jordan Burgess of Berkeley Preparatory School (Tampa, Fla) as its 2011-12 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.  Burgess was surprised with the news at Berkeley Preparatory School by USA Volleyball's 2011 Beach Female Athlete of the Year, April Ross, who earned Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year honors in 1999-00.

"When I received the award, it was a really significant moment for me, so it felt great to surprise Jordan with the news and invite her into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports," said Ross, recent champion of the Hermosa Beach Open. "Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids."

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 Burgess as the nation's best high school volleyball player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Burgess from more than 400,000 high school volleyball players nationwide. Burgess 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.

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, Burgess amassed 553 kills, 366 digs, 48 service aces, 38 assists and 32 blocks while recording a .457 hitting percentage. Also the returning ESPNHS National Junior of the Year, Burgess produced 29 service receptions, 15 kills, 13 digs and four blocks in the 3-1 Class 4A state title win over Bishop Moore. A 2011 USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships All-Tournament selection and two-time Amateur Athletic Union Junior National Girls' Volleyball Championships All-American, she is a member of the U.S. Girls' Youth National Team.

Burgess has maintained a 4.00 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, Burgess has also volunteered locally as a youth volleyball coach. Team manager of the Berkeley Prep boys volleyball squad since 2009 and a participant in a community literacy-outreach program, she served as a team leader at a two-week youth business leadership summer camp in 2007 and 2008. Burgess has also donated her time fundraising on behalf of Heifer International.

"Burgess is one of the best players I've seen in a long time," said ESPNHS Volleyball Editor Kirstin Olsen. "She is a powerful and smart hitter in the front row with excellent mechanics. She is equally good attacking from the back row and it's very hard for teams to stop her. She passes beautifully and can play great defense as well.  She is a joy to watch and the best player in the gym. She is the complete package."

Burgess has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Stanford University beginning in the fall of 2012.

"Without question, Jordan is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school volleyball player based on her statistics on the court and the impact her accomplishments have had on Berkeley's success," said Gatorade President North America and Global Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Robb O'Hagan.  "But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
  • NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
  • Two-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at




























Jordan Burgess

Krista Vansant

Ashley Wittman

Gina Mancuso

Kelly Murphy

Alix Klineman

Megan Hodge

Cynthia Barboza

Cynthia Barboza

Kristin Richards

Bre Ladd

Ogonna Nnamani

April Ross

Logan Tom

Sara Sandrik

Denise Boylan

Kerri Walsh

Berkeley Prep/Tampa, FL

Redlands East Valley HS/Redlands, CA

Shakopee/Shakopee, MN

Papillion-La Vista/Papillion, NE

Joliet Catholic/Joliet, IL

Mira Costa/Manhattan Beach, CA

Riverside/Durham, NC

Wilson Classical/Long Beach, CA

Wilson Classical/Long Beach, CA

Timpanogos/Orem, UT

Canyon Del Oro/Tucson, AZ

University/Normal, IL

Newport Harbor/Newport Beach, CA

Highland/Salt Lake City, UT

Pelham/Pelham, AL

Benet Academy/Lisle, IL

Archbishop Mitty/San Jose, CA

High School Senior

University of Washington

University of Minnesota

University of Nebraska

University of Florida

USA Volleyball

Carnaghi Villa Cortese (Italy)

LIU JO Volley Modena (Italy)

LIU JO Volley Modena (Italy)

USA Volleyball

Attended Univ. Of Arizona

VK Prostejov (Czech Republic)

Pro Beach Volleyball

Fenerbahce Universal (Turkey)

Stanford Graduate

Notre Dame Graduate

Pro Beach Volleyball


SOURCE Gatorade