By: JUSTIN RIMPI
While Jessica Throckmorton may be a freshman outside hitter on the FDU Volleyball team, her aspirations go far beyond Teaneck. Throckmorton is majoring in criminal justice with the hopes of one day becoming a district attorney.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Throckmorton made the life-altering decision to move to the other side of the country to continue her volleyball career.
“When FDU contacted me in the recruiting process I was beyond excited. After doing research on this school I realized it had everything I wanted,” Throckmorton said. “It has my major, it is D1, it is close to NYC so some possible connections can be made for career purposes and it is a perfect size. This school checked off all of the boxes that I was looking for.”
Throckmorton’s athletic prowess and tireless work ethic is not something that she developed when she came to FDU. Instead, athletics have been in her life since she was three years old and she hasn’t stopped since. She started gymnastics at the age of three and continued doing that until she was eleven.
Throckmorton, who is now 5’11’’, was too tall to continue her gymnastics career because it provided an obstacle for the coaches to teach her new tricks. She then transitioned to volleyball, where her height would not be a detriment. In fact, it proved opposite, and is an asset that she used to her advantage.
All of these events led to Throckmorton playing volleyball for a Division I school, and she does not know where she would be without the sport that she loves so dearly.
“This sport taught me enough discipline and determination to achieve anything in life,” Throckmorton said. “It blessed me with endless knowledge on how to really treat my body and keep it healthy because of how demanding the sport was mentally and physically.”
Playing sports throughout her life has taught Throckmorton invaluable life skills that will help her throughout her time at university and every other step of the way.
“As a 10-year-old, I had 21-hour athletic weeks, so time management was brought about at an early age,” she said.
Even though Throckmorton has reached greats heights in her sport, she has not forgotten where she came from and the people in her life that were with her each step of the way.
“I can’t thank my family enough for all the support they gave me throughout these years,” she said. “They taught me that giving up is never the answer and to always put 110 percent of my effort into anything I do. This prepared me to succeed at FDU and on the volleyball team because it simply prepared me for anything life would throw my way and no matter how hard something seems, working through it will always lead to greatness.”
Throckmorton has enjoyed her first two months at FDU so far and has been buoyed by her experience both on and off of the court. Throckmorton said that her academic advisor Nikki Heinel, Assistant Athletic Director in charge of Academic and Student-Athlete Support Services, is someone that is especially dedicated to the success of all student athletes.
“She knows life as a student athlete isn’t easy so she really does her due diligence to help all of us succeed on and off the court,” Throckmorton said.
Head coach of the volleyball team Andrea-Nolan Boyd has also been an integral factor in making Throckmorton a better player.
“Coach Boyd has done a great job at making sure I am mentally tough,” Throckmorton said. “I have a tendency to beat myself up for the slightest errors and she has helped remind me that mistakes are a part of every sport and all that matters is how you respond to them. You can either let them break you down or build you up for the next play, and I am really thankful that she has helped me with this part of my game.”
Even though the volleyball season has not gone according to plan, that doesn’t mean that camaraderie is weak, and some of the upperclassmen have helped Throckmorton make this monumental step in her life go even smoother.
“The upperclassmen on my team have been the greatest blessing at this school so far,” Throckmorton said. “Coming into college, all of us freshmen were obviously intimidated and nervous but they all made us feel welcome to the team. They all have been amazing. This team feels like a family and it’s thanks to their support.”
Photo by FDU Knights.