USC is a good school for marketing

29.10.2003 16:29

How Erik Dordal gets his studies and Bundesliga under one roof

Dr. Michael Schwarz Communication and marketing
Heidelberg University

Student at the International Study Center of Heidelberg University - "A day without basketball would be a lost day for me!" - Sponsor Manfred Lautenschläger supports the USC team and focuses on promoting young talent

Erik Dordal - enrolled at the International Study Center (ISZ) at Heidelberg University - is a basketball player with heart and soul. At the age of 12 he discovered his great passion for this sport. He had played American football, baseball and above all ice hockey before, but in the long run nothing could keep up with the fascination that basketball exerted on him. "I was at school from half past seven in the morning to half past two at noon. After that, I ran straight to the nearest basketball court," laughs the 23-year-old. After dinner he was drawn to his friends again. "Every day without basketball would have been a wasted day for me! I always wanted to get better."

His ambition paid off, with Dordal becoming more perfect on the field every day. Ultimately, his enthusiasm for sport led him straight across the pond - to Heidelberg. He is now playing for the traditional club USC in his second season. Of the almost 650 members of the club, 300 will soon belong to the basketball department. Up until the 1970s, the USC won nine German championships, was twice German cup winners and is thus a former record champion. Even if Dordal played in very good teams in the USA, he still pays the teams in this country respect: "The level of the Second Bundesliga is not without it!"

It's not just sport that fills his days in the Neckarstadt, Dordal is also studying German at the International Study Center. However, it is not easy to get your studies and Bundesliga under one roof. Because both require his full commitment. The ball is round, the books are square - so how does Dordal manage to square the circle? Its secret is a well-organized daily routine. "Actually, I should be out of bed by half past seven," he smiles. "But I delay getting up until the last minute." But then things go quickly for him. Classes start at 9 a.m. and end at 12.30 p.m. Then lunch is on the program, mostly in the SRH cafeteria. Dordal spends the afternoon doing strength training and throwing exercises. Training with the USC team finally begins in the evening. That takes another hour and a half.

At the weekend there is usually a Bundesliga game on the program; here too, private leisure activities have to take precedence. Despite his many duties, Dordal found the time to get married in July. His new wife Christa followed him to Heidelberg. What the Dordals miss are their families and old friends. "Nevertheless: It is very attractive for us to live in two cultures at the same time. The fact that we can just make a quick trip to Italy, France and England is simply a dream, isn't it?" Says Dordal happily. "We feel very much at home here. The people are really extremely friendly to us. We quickly made friends at USC, at the university and also with the Americans who are stationed here in Heidelberg."

Dordal's parents are both from Norway - so son Erik has a Norwegian passport, even if he grew up in the USA. After high school, he played on the basketball team at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and studied communications. Photography and video filming have remained his passions. "I am very fascinated by creativity in all its forms," ​​says Dordal. "It may be difficult for an outsider to understand, but for me, films and basketball have a lot in common. Although there are rules in both professions, be it technical or the rules of the game on the field. But these are only an external framework It has to be filled creatively. The abundance of possibilities to play a game, to play a pass at the right moment, to dribble and then finally to throw - I have a lot of fun! "

Dordal's playful enthusiasm not only gives him pleasure. This season the USC has won all five games in the second division so far. "This is also thanks to Erik Dordal," says Dr. Michael Schwarz, President of the USC, is convinced. "On the 'two', his playing position, Dordal has shown what he can do and has proven his throwing strength again and again. Together with Kevin Burleson, he has shown that he is capable of taking responsibility."

Schwarz attaches great importance to the international orientation of the USC. Whether in athletics, basketball or in the other departments, he wants to steer the future of the 104-year-old traditional club in the right direction, above all through targeted promotion of young talent. "We also want to be clearly visible internationally," he says, referring to the USC semi-finalist over 100 meters, Eric Nkansah, at the World Championships in Paris a few weeks ago and other athletes.

Thanks to the commitment of various sponsors, above all Manfred Lautenschläger and his family, the USC is now also able to buy good players. "But we don't want to buy our basketball success with legionnaires. Rather, players like Dordal should primarily impart the know-how that is urgently needed to the youngsters and set an example," explains Schwarz. The finish line for this year is one of the top three places in the second division. But the investment in the young players should soon take hold. "Basketball is a trend sport in Germany. We have up to 1000 spectators per game. My vision is to revive Heidelberg's times as the German basketball stronghold," said Schwarz.
Johannes Schnurr

(We will be happy to provide photos by Eric Dordal on request.)

Please contact:
Erik Dordal
Tel. 06221 757446

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press spokesman for the University of Heidelberg
Tel. 06221 542310, Fax 542317
[email protected]

Features of this press release:
Sports Science
Study and teaching