Dressler returns to Columbia to join Cougars basketball

Monday, November 15, 2010 | 8:08 p.m. CST; updated 7:23 a.m. CST, Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Columbia College's Jordan Dressler, right, guards teammate Blake Walker during practice. Dressler, a former Rock Bridge standout, transferred to the Cougars from Toledo University after the Rockets went through a coaching change. “I figured if I was going to keep playing, I wanted to come home so my parents could see me play more,” Dressler said.

COLUMBIA — Receiving the ball with his back to the basket, 6-foot-8 forward Jordan Dressler backs down his defender with relative ease, faking a move to his left before spinning to his right and finishing with a smooth, left-handed baby hook.

The move is simple, yet effective, giving his defender almost no chance to block the 5-foot shot. Dressler shows no emotion while running back down the court to play defense, as if he had made the move a thousand times.

Even though this is his first year on the Columbia College men's basketball team, many in Columbia should be familiar with the move. After all, he was a two-time All-State player for the Rock Bridge boys basketball team only two years ago.

Now, he is back in town after a one-year stay at Toledo University in Ohio.

Dressler chose Toledo out of high school because he wanted to play for family friend Bob Sundvold, who was an assistant coach for the Rockets.

Sundvold, the brother of Missouri basketball legend Jon Sundvold, was an assistant coach at Missouri when Jordan Dressler’s father Mark Dressler was a member of the Tigers basketball team from 1979 to 1983.

However, after his freshman year at Toledo (2009-2010), head coach Gene Cross resigned amid controversy and a 4-28 record, throwing the basketball program into chaos. Jordan Dressler wasn’t receptive to the change.

“They (Toledo) got rid of all of the assistant coaches and everything,” Jordan Dressler said. “They cleaned house, and I just didn’t feel like it was the right place for me anymore because the coaches were the main reason I went there in the first place.”

Some Division I schools were calling with offers for him to transfer, butDressler had other ideas.

If he decided to transfer to another Division I school, he would have been required by NCAA rules to sit out a year, so Dressler instead turned his attention to Division II and NAIA schools in Missouri.

“I figured if I was going to keep playing, I wanted to come home so my parents could see me play more,” Dressler said. Even while sifting through his options, he always had his eyes on Columbia College. While receiving calls from Division II schools and NAIA schools across Missouri, Dressler made an interesting move.

“I actually called them (Columbia College) up to see if they needed any players,” Dressler said. “I’ve been to games, and I know they have a really good program. I just wanted to see if they had any scholarships available.”

The move led to a scholarship offer from Columbia College, which Jordan Dressler accepted on May 11. The move back to Columbia was a welcome one for Mark Dressler and Jordan's mother, Jennifer Dressler.

“It was a little bittersweet because I wanted him to stay with coach Sundvold," Mark Dressler said. "But it wasn’t to be at Toledo, so I’m glad he came back.”

Mark and Jennifer Dressler were there to see their son's first game at Columbia College, a 91-26 victory over Concordia Seminary College in which Jordan Dressler scored 12 points and secured six rebounds in 19 minutes of play.

After the game, the Dresslers greeted their son as if it was the first time they had ever seen him play.

“It was really, really hard having him so far away and not being able to watch any of his games," Jennifer Dressler said. "I am very excited that he came back home.”

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