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24/03/2015 15:33
Getting to know: DRESDNER SC’s middle blocker Cursty Jackson
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Dresden, Germany, March 24, 2015. It was late October when USA’s middle blocker Cursty Jackson moved to Dresden and started to play for the reigning German champions. During the last six months she literally made it to the next level, both individually as well as with her team which continues with its steady and continuous development.

Jackson left her mark on the court right from the beginning of the season. The 24-year-old American and her teammates achieved a terrific feat in the German Bundesliga by recording a winning streak comprising 21 of the 22 matches they contested in the regular season. On top of this, DRESDNER SC qualified for the Playoffs 12 of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Women for the first time in the club’s history after their sensational victory over Russian heavyweight Dinamo MOSCOW in the first leg of the League Round. Now the most important and exciting stage of the Bundesliga has started with the Playoffs. Therefore it’s time to draw the fans’ attention to one of the players that has become a key member for the team and an idol for the fans also off the court.

More than just a glamour-girl

Diving down into a hot bubble bath, meditating in the bathtub. Cursty Jackson is far away but also close to herself. That is part of her rituals before a home match and follows an episode of “The Big Bang Theory”. It’s her favourite TV-show, and then she goes for a short nap. Afterwards the silence is gone. Jackson turns up the music really loud: techno and hip hop. Her guess is that the neighbours probably hate it.

She needs the lusty music to calm down and to appear cool on the court or just “fluffy”, as coach Alexander Waibl describes her. Always with a smile on her lips and positive thinking, Cursty Jackson appears relaxed towards her team colleagues but that also works back-breaking on her opponents. “I have so much fun playing Volleyball. I never think about losing,” says the American. She is a fighter. Though, being one of ten kids growing up in Los Angeles had no effect on this. It is just her temper.

Wherever CJ, that’s how her teammates call her, appears, she attracts attention. Once again with a new stylish haircut or make-up that others would probably wear for a party. “I love lipsticks, I have at least 20 different ones at my home,” she says. But that’s not her only passion. “I love shoes and I might have a serious problem because I bought 17 pairs of shoes in the last six months and just a few are for sports,” she adds with a big smile. You could say she is the glamour-girl of DRESDNER SC. However, this would be injustice. “She is distinctive and lives her own identity within an overall structure that works just fine for her,” describes her mentor Alexander Waibl who adds: “She also adapts and subordinates herself within the team.”

Joining the team two days before the season started, the middle blocker had a rough start. Actually, she initially wanted to play for Igtisadchi BAKU, but the club went bankrupt. Jackson is the kind of player that can be integrated very easily. However, she had problems with a typical German principle: punctuality. Waibl attaches great importance to that. “Germans are always on time,” Jackson notices. “I had to learn to be 15 minutes in advance before a training session.” She laughs about this, because now it is her daily routine.

With her athletic skills, CJ did not have any problems becoming an important player for the team. She already has a lot of experience, even though she is only 24 years old. Before the year at Rabita BAKU, she played her first season abroad in France. There, she was with 21 years the youngest in the team and benefited from the oldest, Serbia’s Zorica Zivanovic. “She helped me a lot, even beyond Volleyball.” Cursty has a lot of gratefulness in her voice whenever she talks about her friend.

Now in Dresden, she has a new role with her experience, helping the younger players. “I like the fact that she takes care of other players and I like the way she talks to them,” says team captain Myrthe Schoot. Jackson wants to pass on her knowledge. Juliane Langgemach benefits the most of her teammate, a matter of course for CJ.  “We profit from each other. In the end, the team gets better and that is our goal.”

Cursty also knows that a praise is worth a lot. However, what she learnt from Juliane goes beyond Volleyball: “Because of the environment, she sometimes comes by bike to practice instead of driving her car. I like that. Germans and their environmental awareness.” But what she likes best about Germany are the young fathers. “There is no other place on this world where you could find as many dads with strollers as you do in Dresden. That is cool. In America you only see mothers with babies,” says Jackson.

And of course: CJ fell in love with a man from Dresden. During her first week, she met Stefan, 33, in a bar downtown. But her time is little and they did not have much time for big ventures so far. Three weeks ago, the team had some time off, so she flew to London by herself and came back with a new haircut: black mane made of Brazilian hair. A little glamour may be allowed.

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