Wednesday, March 19, 2014

JMU's Kirby and sisters Jordan and Cassidy, Burkholder that is, are quite a bunch

Cassidy, Jordan and Kirby

Don't confuse Kirby Burkholder with Jan Brady, even though she is the middle child.

Are we dating ourselves in this blog? Remember Marcia, Jan, Cindy?

Meet Jordan, Kirby and Cassidy, and even though James Madison forward Kirby is the CAA Player of the Year, it’s not all about Kirby, Kirby, Kirby in this family.

Ahem, Jordan was Player of the Year in the ODAC, and “I’m better at softball,” she says. “Hands down.” Credit Jordan, too, for one season of lacrosse at Bridgewater College where Cassidy is only halfway through her basketball career. (Pst. That's also Mom's alma mater.) While there’s still potential for Cassidy to join her sisters with a Player of the Year honor, for now the older sisters only concede this.

“She’s better at school,” Kirby says.

And, they agree with wicked grins, "Cassidy is the good one.”

"You guys are a bad influence on me," Cassidy says.

You see Jordan, 24, and Kirby, 22, tended to gang up on Cassidy, 19, just a few times when the sisters were younger.  At least that’s how “the good one” frames it.

Jordan is a bit more blunt about it, and Kirby can recall getting socked by Jordan -- just once, though.

“Man, Kirby and I used to run over Cassidy. We have home videos,” Jordan says. “Me and Cassidy were so far apart in age. We didn’t start bonding till she got into high school. Now we’re all closer. We’re best friends. There’s nothing we don’t tell each other.”

They/re movie pals, going-out-to-eat friends and ardent supporters of each other. Jordan lives in Northern Virginia these days where she is a substitute teacher with plans to attend Mary Baldwin for graduate school in special education. But she’s still a regular at James Madison games along with Cassidy and the parents. The whole clan was together for the CAA Tournament where they saw JMU roll past Delaware and into the NCAA Tournament (the Dukes are a 11 seed playing No. 6 Gonzaga in College Station, Texas on Sunday.)

"We're going to Texas!" Jordan tweeted shortly after Monday's bracket unveiling.

Everybody, that is.

Seems like where you’ll find one Burkholder, you’ll find at least one more. They all played at Turner Ashby High; all were 1,000-point scorers who often made their way into the back yard to shoot hoops on the cement pad.

They were never competitive with each other when it came to basketball. “When we played pickup, we tried to be on the same team,” Kirby says.

Cassidy is scrappy on defense and Jordan physical in the post. Kirby is finesse, and yep, maybe a  little bit stronger of a player, defenitely the 3-point ace.

"I'm a better sleeper," Jordan says.

22 rebounds for Kirby in the CAA tourney semi? "Way to go, Kirbs," Cassidy tweeted.

The up-and-under is vintage Burkholder, no matter the first name. “It’s the only move I learned in high school, and I guess it stuck with all of us,” Jordan says.

Jordan, if you can't tell, is the most vocal. Asked what she does better on the court than Kirby, she answers, “Talking. I’m a talker. I’m not a shy player. Now you see her get a little more fired up, it being her senior year. I love it when she gets feisty."

Kirby has a dry wit, enough of one that Mom often jokes about Kirby’s red hair. You see the man next door has red hair, and he’s a postman….

Kirby loves clothes, and she buys them a lot, her sisters say. “Online,” Kirby says and Cassidy confers.

“She has them delivered to the house and sometimes three boxes come in one day. I just wanna peek inside.”

Mom’s take on Kirby’s fashion: “If you see something weird, that’s Kirby.”

“Sometimes we see something and say, ‘Kirby would wear that. And Cassidy and I, we wouldn’t,” Jordan says.  “I’m more the tomboy.”

Kirby says Jordan has a lot of shoes.

“Me? She has more shoes than anybody I know,” Jordan responds.

“Sneakers, heels, boots – I buy them all,” Kirby admits.

"If only we wore the same size," laments Cassidy, who wears an 8 to Kirby's 9 1/2.

“Nobody has more sneakers than Jordan,” Cassidy says. 

They just got puppies. They’re 2 months old, and Kirby clarifies. Mom and Jordan got puppies. The family dog, Tank, died recently at 4 ½ after a short bout with cancer. The two new lab mixes are named Bruno and Ryle; Bruno is the boy with Mom, and Ryle lives with Jordan.

“I like dogs as long as they’re not licking me all over, and I don’t want to be responsible,” Kirby says.

“They’re really cute" is Cassidy's take.  

When they’re together, they usually just hang out and giggle at the dinner table. “We can’t sit at the table without somebody laughing. We don’t even have to talk,” Jordan says. “Kirby is always talking so fast, half the time you don’t know what she’s saying. Cassidy, she’s the nerd of the family. Me, I guess, I’m the quote unquote dumb one. I mean not really dumb. There’s never a dull moment when we’re together.”

There were fun games in their cousin's basement and repeated viewings of "Gremlins."

They have an ongoing group text. They love to eat. Cassidy has a super sweet tooth.

Kirby and Cassidy will pick up a book. Not Jordan. “I hate to read,” she says. 

They used to camp where they played games, making up the rules along the way. 

Every Christmas Day they go to the movies. Speaking of Christmas, here’s a Kirby hint, Mom. She’d like a new car. Now a Range Rover would be really nice, but if she has to, she’d settle for a Nissan Maxima or Altima.

And as for cars. ...

"Remember that time you wrecked Dad's truck? You said you were going to a friend's house . . ." Kirby starts and Jordan stops her.

"Remember when you got your license and you were never home?" Jordan counters.

They joke, goof, prank – Kirby dumped a mess of cold water on Jordan in the shower once. But they support, and right now all the love goes to Kirby, bound for the NCAA Tournament.

“She’s worked so hard,” Jordan says. “Kenny (Brooks) works with them every second he can. To see her go from wanting to transfer to sticking with it to Player of the Year; we just love to see her do well.

“I didn’t think I’d be so much into this, seeing her play, but it's almost like I'm out there playing.  As long as she’s out there, we’re just there to support her. It's just great to see her succeed and grow inside and out.”

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