Magazine article The Crisis

Queens of the Volleyball Net

Magazine article The Crisis

Queens of the Volleyball Net

Article excerpt

Annett Davis insists she and her partner Jenny Johnson Jordan - arguably the most successful African American duo ever in professional beach volleyball are complete opposites. But whatever differences the two have aren't easy to spot.

Both Davis and Johnson Jordan grew up in California and both have athletic family backgrounds. Davis' father, Cleveland Buckner, is a former professional basketball player who was on the court when Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA-record 100 points. And Johnson Jordan's father, Rafer Johnson, won a silver medal in the decathlon at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Four years later, he won gold in the same event at the Rome games. Davis and Johnson Jordan both attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and married athletes (Davis wed a 12-time All- American swimmer and Johnson Jordan wed a former UCLA wide receiver). In addition, both women have two children - a girl and a boy.

The chemistry they shared since becoming friends as freshmen at UCLA was evident right away. In 1999, the two earned more than $200,000 in prize earnings. And in just 14 months, they won six titles. They qualified for the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney, Australia, even though they had been together for just three years. Johnson Jordan and Davis placed fifth in Sydney.

"It was a long journey to get there," Johnson Jordan, 34, remembered. "It was a two-year process and the Olympics were the icing on the cake of that process. It was a little disappointing to walk away without a medal."

Davis, 34, agrees that they "should have done better," but "just the fact that we made it to the games was amazing. …

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