Hope College Men's Basketball Historic Moments

Updated thru 2017-18 season

Competitive basketball was introduced at Hope College in 1902. Since fielding that first team, Hope teams 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 — 39 through the 2016-17 season. 

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".

ESPN's GREATEST COLLEGE RIVALRIES
#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

 
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 moved into the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse for the 2005-06 season going 18-0 in home games. They were Hope's first regular season games in an on-campus facility in more than 70 years. DeVos Fieldhouse Website

The Hope/Calvin basketball rivalry is unparalleled in small college athletics. Hope/Calvin Rivalry website

Senior Harrison Blackledge 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.

Senior Ben Gardner was selected to the 2016 Allstate National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works Teams. 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.

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. Harrison Blackledge and Dante Hawkins each scored 11 points to top Hope, which grabbed a 100-93 lead in the all-time series.

Coach Matt Neil was named the 2011-12 Division III coach of the year. He was presented the Glenn Robinson 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's exciting 100-95 overtime victory against Kalamazoo on January 26, 2011 was a history-maker as senior Will Bowser scored the most points ever before a home crowd. That covered a span of 109 years in games first played in a log cabin and then in such as places as Holland's National Guard armory, the Civic Center and since 2005 the DeVos Fieldhouse! 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. With his team trailing by two points early in the second half, Bowser scored Hope's next 14 points to rally the Flying Dutchmen to a 59-52 lead. Tied 85-85 after regulation, he again went on a spurt scoring eight of Hope's 15 overtime points.

The first victory for coach Matt Neil on November 27, 2010 had a special meaning. The Flying Dutchmen defeated Aquinas 92-69 in the Grand Rapids Hall of Fame Classic with coach Neil's son, Logan, scoring a game-high 23 points behind nine-for-ten shooting off the bench. Later that season, on February 9, 2011, it was Logan Neil who again led the team in scoring (17 points) in a 65-60 victory over Olivet as the Flying Dutchmen clinched a conference championship.

Flying Dutchmen circa 1970s

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).

On January 12, 2008, Glenn Van Wieren 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.

Tyler Wolfe 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 1/19/98. Lebanon Valley is also known as the Flying Dutchmen!

Floyd Brady scored 25 points and grabbed 22 rebounds against Olivet on December 12, 1965.

Glenn Van Wieren scored 25 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in a 90-66 home season-ending win over Adrian on February 29, 1964. It was the beginning of a five-decade-long association with Hope College basketball, including 33 years as head coach. He retired after the 2009-10 season.

In the 1963-64 season, Hope had three different players score 30 or more points in a game: Ron Venhuizen, 31 vs. Westmont, 36 vs. Aquinas and 31 vs. Alma; Glenn Van Wieren, 32 vs. Alma; and Clare Van Wieren, 30 vs. Aquinas and 35 vs. Olivet. 

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