Hope College Men's Basketball Historic Moments

Updated thru 2019-20 season

ORIGINS OF HOPE BASKETBALL

Competitive basketball was introduced at Hope College in 1902. Since that first team, the Flying Duitchmen have played countless foes, including in the formative years opponents from the Young Men's Christian Association, high schools, clubs, independent teams, colleges and universities. The first recorded game was a 74-4 victory over a team from Saugatuck, Mich. on Feb. 1, 1902. Hope's first championship season was in 1906-07 as a member of the Interurban League.

The Flying Dutchmen have competed in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) since 1926. Hope tops the conference in championships won — 40 through the 2018-19 season. 

ESPN's GREATEST COLLEGE RIVALRIES

In 2005, the television network ESPN identified the nation's greatest college basketball rivalries. ESPN ranked the Hope-Calvin rivalry as tops in NCAA Division III and ranked fourth in all collegiate hoops. The ranking was based on a poll of fans and ESPN's "panel of experts."


#1 - Duke vs. North Carolina
#2 - Connecticut vs. Tennessee (women)
#3 - Louisville vs. Kentucky
#4 - HOPE vs. CALVIN
#5 - Xavier vs. Cincinnati
#6 - Indiana vs. Purdue
#7 - Philadelphia's "Big 5"
#8 - Illinois vs. Missouri
#9 - Penn vs. Princeton
#10 - Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State

 

The Flying Dutchmen became the first in The Rivalry to reach 100 wins when they defeated Calvin, 65-61, on February 20, 2016 in Grand Rapids.

FACILITY HISTORY

A log cabin, a National Guard armory, a civic arena and now a state-of-art facility. They've all served as the home floor for the Flying Dutchmen. Hope played on campus in Carnegie Gymnasium from 1920 to 1929, then played off-campus in the Holland Armory from 1929 to 1954 and in the Holland Civic Center from 1954 to 2005. Hope games moved back to campus in the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse for the 2005-06 season, going 18-0 in home games. Those contests were Hope's first regular season games in an on-campus facility in more than 70 years.

DeVos Fieldhouse Website

When the NCAA ruled that the Holland Civic Center court dimension did not comply with its rules (it was three feet shorter than allowed for the national tournament), Hope decided NCAA games could still be played at home. The on-campus, student-recreation-fiocused Dow Center was used for NCAA games in 1995 (first round), 1996 (first and second round), 1997 (first and second round), 1998 (second round, sectional semis and finals), and 2003 (second round). Tulip Time bleachers were deconstructed and then reconstructed inside the main court area of the Dow to accommodate approximately 1,300 fans.

PLAYS AND PLAYERS OF NOTE

Harrison Blackledge ’17 was awarded the 2017 Jostens Trophy as the most outstanding NCAA Division III men's basketball student-athlete of the year. He was named a D3Hoops and National Basketball Coaches Association First Team All-American, a College Sports Information Directors of America First Team Academic All-American and the MIAA's Albert L. Deal Scholar Award recipient.

Ben Gardner ’16 was selected to the 2016 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works Team. He was one of 10 men's student-athletes honored at the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Final Four in Houston. Gardner joined Colton Overway (2013) and Grant Neil (2014) as previous Good Works selections from Hope. Gardner also was named a College Sports Information Directors of America Second Team Academic All-American.

Hope's exciting 100-95 overtime victory against Kalamazoo on January 26, 2011 was a history-maker as Will Bowser '11 scored the most points ever before a home crowd. Bowser totaled 46 points, shooting 16-for-26 from the floor, including 5-for-12 from three-point territory. He shot 9-for-10 on free throws and pulled down eight rebounds.

For the second time in three seasons, the 2007-08 Flying Dutchmen posted a perfect home floor record (17-0) at DeVos Fieldhouse. A highlight was hosting three NCAA tournament games. In an 83-70 Sectional tournament championship game victory over Wheaton, all five Hope starters scored in double figures and each had at least two three-point baskets -- Jesse Reimink, 14 points (4 treys); Ryan Klein, 13 points (3); Tyler Wolfe, 12 points (2); Marcus Vanderheide, 23 points (2); and Derek Van Solkema, 15 points (3).

Flying Dutchmen circa 1970s

Tyler Wolfe ’07 came off the bench and scored 20 consecutive points in a span of 7 minutes, 9 seconds in Hope's 88-62 victory over Alma on February 14, 2007. He scored 23 points on 6-for-6 shooting, including 5-for-5 on three-pointers, and 6-for-6 free throws. The NCAA Division III record at the time for consecutive points was 25 by Andy Panko of Lebanon Valley, Pa. against Franklin & Marshall, Pa. on January 19, 1998. Lebanon Valley is also known as the Flying Dutchmen.

Floyd Brady '68, the all-time leader in points and rebounds for the Flying Dutchmen, achieved such marks with games like this: 25 points and 22 rebounds against Olivet on December 12, 1965.

Glenn VanWieren '63 had his share of remarkable stats, too. He scored 25 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a 90-66 home season-ending win over Adrian on February 29, 1964.

COACHING MILESTONES AND HONORS

On January 12, 2008, Glenn Van Wieren '68 became just the sixth coach in NCAA Division III men's basketball history to achieve 600 victories. His 31-year record after an 80-71 win over Olivet was 600-201. His winning percentage (.749) at that time was the best in this elite coaching group. He also has reached 600 victories faster than any other Division III coach (801st game). The previous mark was by Glenn Robinson of Franklin & Marshall who won number 600 in his 821st game. Van Wieren retired after the 2009-10 season with 660 victories over 33 years.

Matt Neil '82 was named the 2011-12 Glenn Robinson NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year award by the website, collegeinsider.com. The award is presented annually to the top Division III men's basketball coach.

Hope.edu | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422