Dordt College News

Men's basketball says goodbye to five seniors

May 24, 2013

The final buzzer at the end of the Defenders’ quarterfinal finish at the NAIA national tournament in March marked the end of something special for one of the most successful senior classes in Dordt men’s basketball history.

Seniors Trevor Wolterstorff, Cliff Warner, Jordan Vogel, Chris Sievers, and Shawn Keizer all concluded careers and left their mark on the Dordt record books.

Perhaps the most impressive number of all was 97: the number of wins amassed in the seniors’ four years together.

This group kept improving so that they were playing the best basketball of their careers the second semester of their senior year,” said Mike Byker, Dordt’s sports information director.

Wolterstorff graduates as one of the most decorated athletes in Dordt history. He finished second all-time in points scored (1,968), third in rebounds (751), and first in games started (129).

“I’m not going to remember the points, the scores, the long road trips, the tough wins, and the tough losses. I’m going to remember the good times with my teammates,” said Wolterstorff.

Warner, a point guard, transferred to Dordt as a sophomore. Instantly, the Defenders adopted his tenacious winning mentality. Warner energized the team and the fans with his slick passing and three-point shooting, finishing third all-time in assists (360) and first all-time in three-pointers (229).

“It’s been awesome the last two and a half years playing with these guys and playing for Coach Douma,” said Warner.

The Defenders were blessed with two outstanding big men in Vogel and Sievers. The two posts spent four years wreaking havoc on opposing forwards, each scoring over 1,000 points. Both admitted that it is hard to think about never playing as a team again.

“You embrace every single person on the team and then realize that’s the last time. That was probably the toughest part,” said Sievers.

Said Vogel, “When you stand out there on the court for your last game it kind of gets to you, but doing it with four of my best friends was just really special.”

Keizer, a skilled shooter and defender, filled many roles in his four years on the team. His versatility allowed him to play in a team-record 131 games. The Sioux Center native leaves without a regret.

Together, the five seniors won a regular season conference title, a postseason conference title, and made two Elite Eight appearances in the NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship.

Dordt’s success also helped pack the DeWitt Gymnasium with passionate fans, giving the Defenders a decisive home-court advantage. The team enjoyed a 29-1 record at home over the last two seasons, including a perfect home record this past year.

Head Coach Ross Douma sums it up simply: “Our guys did a great job representing Dordt College, who we are, and what we stand for.”


Media Access: Download Word Version | High Resolution Image: 1