COLUMBIA — The Rock Bridge boys basketball team had to adjust to playing without starter Travis Jorgenson for more than a month this season when he was out with a thumb injury.
Next season, the Bruins will have to adjust to not playing with him at all.
Jorgenson, a junior, who this fall made an oral commitment to play basketball at Missouri, has decided to transfer to the New Hampton School in New Hampton, N.H., for his senior season.
Rock Bridge assistant coach Quentin Mitchell said he heard the news of Jorgenson's decision earlier this week when Jorgenson's father told him. Mitchell said he thinks Jorgenson is transferring because of a desire to play against better competition.
The New Hampton Huskies have had many players go on to successful basketball careers, including Josh Kroenke, a 1998 graduate of Rock Bridge, who played for a year at New Hampton after graduating high school. Kroenke, who played for Missouri from 1999 to 2003, is now the president of the NBA's Denver Nuggets. His father is billionaire Stan Kroenke.
Other notable New Hampton alumni include former North Carolina and NBA player Rashad McCants, McCants' Tar Heels teammate and UNC-Greensboro coach Wes Miller, former Kansas standout Brady Morningstar, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin and Lamar coach Pat Knight.
Mitchell said losing Jorgenson will be a big adjustment for the Bruins, but the Bruins will survive.
"He was a big part of our team, but he had a decision that he needed to make, and we support it and have to move on with the pieces that we have," Mitchell said. "It's kind of like we did when he got hurt this year. It will just be longer."
The Bruins lost seven seniors at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Mitchell said sophomore Jackson Dubinski, who stepped in during Jorgenson's injury this season, will be one of the main players to fill his void next year, along with sophomore starting poing guard Nick Norton, who was one of the team's leading scorers during this season's state playoffs. Freshman guard Ryan Kreklow will see more minutes after being moved up to varsity from junior varsity for this year's postseason.
Norton said Jorgenson discussed the transfer with him during offseason workouts and was indecisive until he visited New Hampton and decided to make the commitment.
"He's a major DI player that's leaving us. We're gonna miss that, but I think it's good for him, and he's going to be going up against the best players in high school," Norton said. "It's definitely going to make him better and ready for college."