Mizzou Basketball Legend Still on Sidelines
Sundvold is one of only two players in MU basketball history who can claim 100 career wins and four straight conference titles.
"I think that's a pretty good achievement," he said. "Most would look back and say, if you could average 25 wins a year, that's pretty good."
Sundvold finished his Mizzou career in 1983, creating many great memories for fans in the Hearnes Center. He also played nine seasons in the NBA and worked as a college basketball TV analyst.
He began coaching the junior varsity team at Columbia's Christian Fellowship School last November.
"Coaching is harder," said Sundvold. "Playing, you can control things. Coaching, I can see things. I can get it quickly, but you can't always relay that information."
When he decided to coach the Knights, Sundvold looked forward to mentoring a player with a familiar sweet stroke, and last name.
"I think it runs in the family, it might. I don't think so," said Sundvold's son, Wilson, Christian Fellowship guard. "It can be tough at times, and other times it can be fun. He challenges me a lot."
"You know, I'm not always easy on them," said Sundvold. "I'm tough whether it's my son or somebody else, but we're trying to make them better players."
Sundvold's wife, Tamara, added, "He takes it home with him, and he still coaches a little bit to his son when he gets home, but I think that's part of it. He spends quite a bit of time at home working on plays."
Sunvold explained, "I think if you can simplify the game, and let kids know how they can best affect the game, how they can impact it, and if they can understand that, then as a team you're way ahead."
Sundvold doesn't just coach, he drives the team van when the Knights play road games.
"I played a game in Kansas City, and some friends came to watch," recalled Sundvold. "And one of my friends said, 'You know, this is a long ways away from the NBA. You used to get on a plane, now you're driving a van.'"
Fans enjoyed watching the Missouri Hall of Famer work wonders on the court. Now, this basketball hero hopes to create more magic from the sidelines.
Sundvold says he'll coach the Knights at least another year before Wilson joins the varsity team, but Jon has no desire to coach at a higher level.
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