PRO BASKETBALL PLAYER
The sharp shooter from Blue Springs thrilled basketball fans in Missouri for decades, from high school, to college, and eventually to the NBA. Jon Sundvold faced plenty of speculation that he was too short to play professional basketball, but he proved the critics wrong at every stop. He spent nine years playing against the best players in the world and even set a few records in the process.
THE EARLY YEARS
Jon Thomas Sundvold was born on July 2, 1961, in Sioux Falls, S.D., but grew up in Blue Springs. He was one of the best point guards to ever play in the state of Missouri, which led to a pair of All-State selections for the 6´2. guard. He scored more than 2,100 points at Blue Springs High School before he scored a scholarship to play at the University of Missouri–Columbia.
RISE TO FAME
Sundvold made the jump to the University of Missouri in 1980, where he became an instant star and fan favorite. As a freshman, he played in almost every game and averaged more than six points a game. During his next three seasons at Mizzou, he continued to increase his production. His senior year at the university was one for the record books, as he averaged nearly twenty points per game, while knocking down 87 percent of his free throw attempts.
His four years at Missouri were some of the best in school history. The team won four consecutive Big 8 Conference Championships during his tenure, which is a mark that can never be broken, only tied. By the time he left Mizzou, he was the third leading scorer in school history and won the honor of being named to the All-Big 8 Team twice and a first-team All American as a senior.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
At the age of twenty-two, Sundvold broke into the NBA and made an instant impact on the league. Seattle drafted him in the first round of the 1983 draft with the sixteenth overall pick. In his first year in the league, he helped lead the Supersonics to the playoffs. He spent only two years with Seattle before he was traded to San Antonio, where he helped the team to the playoffs numerous times during his three years there. He was picked up by the Miami Heat during the 1988 NBA expansion draft. His sharp shooting led to a double-digit scoring average during the Heat’s inaugural season, as well as a record for three-point-shooting accuracy. He played for three more seasons with the Heat before retiring and moving back to Columbia to work as an investment advisor.
*Jon led the league in three-point percentage in 1989, hitting more than 50 percent of his long-range shots.
*He played on the 1982 USA Men’s World Championship team with fellow Missourian Joe Klein of Slater.