U-Hi’s Jamison In Perpetual Motion Standout Athlete Always Playing Some Kind Of Ball, But Also Has Cultural Side
Sally Jamison is a woman for all seasons.
During the fall she plays volleyball, in the winter it’s basketball and currently she’s on the second-place Titan softball team.
She was able to hit a volleyball with power uncommon for someone who stands 5-foot-4-1/2, and hold her own rebounding against much taller basketball foes.
It is a jumping ability she attributes to her years of dancing.
Despite not playing summer softball because she toured Australia and New Zealand last summer, Jamison starts in left field ahead of teammates who played for select teams.
Her coach, Ken Van Sickle, calls her the consummate team player more concerned with her teammates having an enjoyable experience than being in the lineup.
“She’s just an amazing gal,” said Van Sickle. “I’ve had no one like her for attitude and maturity. She’s just an outstanding woman.”
Jamison’s story, however, goes beyond high school sports. She has pursued life and a variety of interests with such zeal and boundless energy that you marvel how she does it all.
“I’m just so used to it, when I’m not busy it drives me crazy,” Jamison said.
She has been a class officer, ran for Lilac Princess this spring, sings with Masters Touch, a Berean Bible Church youth choir, and spent last summer on a People To People study exchange.
Jamison carries a 3.8 grade point average that would be perfect, she said, if she had more time to study.
From a musical family, she took seven years of piano lessons and dabbled briefly with the saxophone.
But if she has a calling, it is dancing, something she has done since age 3 or 4 performing ballet in “Hansel and Gretel” at the Opera House.
“She has a God-given talent not everybody has,” said her instructor, Sherry York. “She was born with ‘it’. It’s something you can’t describe.”
Her athleticism and flair make for tap routines reminiscent of performances by the late Gene Kelly and remarkable stage presence.
Two years ago after tearing an Achilles tendon in February that was to have sidelined her from six months to a year, she was back on stage in June dancing a tribute to her graduating brother, Ben.
“It was nothing really on my toes, it was a lyrical dance,” she said.
Her animated background performance at the piano mimicking Jerry Lee Lewis during a young people’s dance rendition of “Great Balls of Fire” brought the house down.
“She captivates an audience with trying to,” said York. “She could perform professionally, without a doubt.”
Playing sports year around and dancing in the evenings would make a typical Jamison day last 19 hours. But she didn’t mind.
“Coaches would say I’d have to make a choice one of these times. I didn’t want to,” Jamison said. “I’d do whatever it took to handle it.”
She credits her dancing with making the hectic schedule bearable.
“Dance is what keeps me sane,” she said. “The stress would go away when I was in the (Opportunity Township) Hall. Serious dancers will know what I’m talking about. It releases everything.”
Jamison’s early involvements began with gymnastics and soccer as well as ballet. Her father, Roger, a professional musician who teaches mathematics in the East Valley School District, coached her in softball and volleyball.
Although her mother Kris is a piano teacher who plays professionally, she took piano lessons from another instructor.
She began basketball in seventh grade and figured to be on junior varsity. She said her coach, Bill Knudson, told her and Stephani Shelton that he was counting on them.
Jamison made varsity all three years at U-Hi in volleyball and basketball and would have in softball had she not torn her Achilles.
“I went up for a rebound in practice and felt it pop,” she said. “I knew what happened. When I was in junior high it happened to a man I knew and I worried if it happened to me I’d be out of dancing.”
Doctors can only speculate why, but they said she was the youngest person it happened to.
By her junior year she was back in the U-Hi gymnasium.
Athletics, Jamison realizes, will soon be a thing of the past. But she knows she’ll always keep busy.
“All the colleges I have applied to would have to have dance or I wouldn’t go,” Jamison said. “If I’m near a big city maybe I’ll join a dance company.”
The ebullient Titan senior wants to travel and study abroad and has always dreamed of someday performing on Broadway.
“I told her when’s she’s on Broadway,” said York, “That I’ll be there.” , DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo