Since moving to the suburbs of north Georgia in the seventh grade, Savian Jordan has always connected herself with the big city to the south.
Despite having lived in Michigan and growing up under the roof of her father Richard, who played in the NFL with the Chiefs and Lions, Jordan never thought about her future taking her back to the motor city or the Midwestern plains.
“I love Atlanta,” Jordan said. “I’ve always wanted to be in the city. It feels like where I belong.”
Because of her adopted connection with Atlanta, Jordan set her sights on getting her education at Georgia State University early on in her high school tenure. At the time, she was showing off her natural athleticism with the A5 volleyball program and South Forsyth High School, where she helped the Lady War Eagles reach the Class 6A state championship as a junior and to the Class 7A semifinals as a senior. The defensive setter showed off her gift not just as a specimen on the floor, but as a natural leader. To the naked eye, she appeared destined to play collegiately.
Three days ago, that wasn’t her plan. She was so set on moving to Atlanta for college that only an offer from Georgia State could convince her to suit up. She didn’t want to listen to other offers. Her mind was made up.
“I thought I was done with volleyball,” Jordan said. “I was ready to focus on other things.”
That all changed when she got a phone call on Tuesday from a familiar number.
“I knew it was the Georgia State head coach, but I had pretty much hung the sport up, so I didn’t know why she was calling me,” Jordan said.
Richard walked into the room.
“Before I could even finish the conversation my Dad walked in and said from behind me, ‘you’re going to take it,’” Jordan laughed.
Panthers head coach Sally Polhamus offered Jordan a preferred walk-on position on the team, with the opportunity to receive scholarship money as a junior and senior. Jordan’s lifelong dream materialized over the phone—so unexpectedly that she didn’t quite know how to react.
“It kind of didn’t hit me. I had my mind made up so all of that starts happening and I’m like, ‘okay, but I’m not playing any more.’ But the more I thought about it, after talking to everyone, I got excited about it again. Then it was like, ‘wow this is actually happening.’”
Jordan specifically recalled a conversation she had with former teammate Taylor Svehla, now at Georgia College.
“She told me to take opportunities. If you don’t you’ll regret it later,” Jordan said.
Jordan will try to help the Panthers climb the Sun Belt rankings. Georgia State went 10-18 and 6-11 in conference last season. Along with her volleyball participation, she’ll begin her focus on communication with the goal of becoming a sports broadcaster.
“ESPN is the end goal, but you’ve got to take baby steps,” Jordan said.