News Staff Report
Atmore residents Sam and Betty Holly are proud grandparents these days. Their son, Atmore native Gerry Jackson and his wife Teresa are proud parents. The family is excited about Daija Jackson’s decision to commit to the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Daija has been a standout on the West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, N.C., as the senior middle hitter on the volleyball team. For Daija, playing in college is a dream come true – made even sweeter because she’ll be playing alongside one of her high school teammates, America Anderson, who is also heading for UNCG.
“America was ecstatic when I told her I decided to accept UNCG’s offer to play volleyball,” Daija said. “Obviously, her being my best friend, she was just so excited for me to be committed and able to play at the collegiate level because she knows this is something that I have wanted for a long time and that it hasn´t been an easy process for me.”
Daija and America along with teammate Malia Moore led their high school to one of its best seasons ever as it made it all the way to the third round of the 3-A state playoffs. Jackson, who was a Times-News All-Area pick, led the Falcons’ offense in kills with 138 and was second on the team in aces with 21. She was also a team leader on defense, leading the Falcons with 31 blocks.
Daija said it feels like a weight has been lifted off her shoulders after making her college decision and getting her plans finalized for the next four years. But she said the process was challenging due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This recruiting process (at times) was brutal for me, and I was left blindsided on multiple occasions,” she said. “Also, with the pandemic and the dead period being extended all the way to March 31, it made it difficult to get in contact with college coaches. Fortunately, I got recruited by UNCG in January, and from the beginning to the end, every moment felt right. After doing the virtual tour and virtually meeting with the volleyball staff and team I felt right at home there. There isn´t a doubt in my mind that I made the right decision choosing UNCG.”
Information for this article taken from www.blueridgenow.com. The article was written by Dean Hensley.