at the Holland Civic Center
Basketball at the Civic Center
The Hope College Flying
Dutchmen played at the Holland Civic Center from 1954-55 thru the 2004-05
season posting an impressive 423-118 record at the Civic Center, a winning
clip of 80%. In the early 1980s the Flying Dutchmen won 37 games in-a-row
at home. They had a losing home mark only twice in 51 seasons! Here are some
of the most memorable games at the Civic Center. Hope basketball moved back on
campus beginning in 2005-06 with the opening of the college's DeVos Fieldhouse.
11/29/54 -- Hope 65,
Central, Iowa 56
There was no way the Dutchmen were going to lose the very first game in the
Holland Civic Center because the athletic teams at both RCA sister colleges
were known as the Dutchmen. Hope never trailed in the inaugural game. Bob Hendrickson
led Hope with 19 points while Dwight Riemersma added 15 and Harold Molenaar
12/29/56 -- Hope 66,
Central State 61
The dunks of seven-footer Paul Benes (21 points) and the two-hand set shots
of freshman Warren VanderHill (20 points) paced the Flying Dutchmen to a 66-61
victory over Central State of Wilberforce, Ohio in the championship game of
a holiday tournament similar to the Russ DeVette Holiday Classic.
1/2/60 -- Hope 87,
Called "the shot heard throughout the Midwest," Warren Vander Hill's 22-foot
jumper as the final buzzer sounded gave the Flying Dutchmen the upset victory
over a Crusader team ranked fourth in the nation at the time. With the score
tied at 85-85, Hope got the ball with 13 seconds remaining. Coach Russ DeVette
designed a play to get the ball to VanderHill. He took a pass with his back
to the basket, turned and fired. The shot was true and swished the net. VanderHill
scored 27 points while Ray Ritsema, who had part of a tooth knocked out in
the opening minute of the game, added 20 points.
12/31/60 -- Hope 94,
Valparaiso 93 (ot)
Don Boyink calmly sank two free throws with two seconds left in overtime
to give the Flying Dutchmen a 94-93 victory. Jim VanderHill had blocked
intercepted a Valpo shot with 18 seconds remaining in overtime. Boyink was
attempting to shoot when he was fouled. Holland sports historian Randy VandeWater,
who covered the game for the Holland Sentinel, remembers the closing seconds
for another reason. In the heat of the overtime, coach Russ DeVette's young
son appeared on the sidelines having apparently wandered from his seat. "Russ
gave the team the strategy for the last play, scooped up his son, sat him on
his lap and then watched the Dutchmen gain the victory."
2/8/64 -- Hope 127,
Alma 119 (ot)
This game has been mentioned by more fans than any other. It still ranks
as the highest scoring game in Hope and MIAA history. Even the Holland
article the day after the game said it was "destined to be called one of the
greatest all-time victories." Alma came into the game heavily favored. The
teams were tied 115-115 after regulation. In overtime Chris Buys scored six
straight points in a minute-and-a-half to give Hope the cushion. With three
minutes left in OT there was a melee involving players, coaches and some fans.
It was quickly squelched, but resulted in ejections that left Alma with only
four players on the floor. Glenn Van Wieren led Hope with 32 points while Ron
Venhuizen had 31, Bill Potter 24 and Chris Buys 21.
2/24/65 -- Hope 104,
Calvin 102 (2ots)
Freshman Don Kronemeyer, a hometown hero playing in his first Hope-Calvin game,
calmly sank two free throws after the buzzer of a double overtime to beat the
rival Knights and claim the MIAA championship. With the first free throw made,
bedlam broke loose and Kronemeyer was carried from the floor on the shoulders
of his teammates and fans. A few minutes later he returned to the floor and
made the second shot. Kronemeyer was fouled after he had taken a rebound on
a missed Calvin shot and was about to throw a long pass. The foul came as it
looked like the game was going into a third overtime. Sophomore Carl Walters
led Hope with 25 points, including a layup with nine seconds remaining to tie
the score at 102-102. Freshman Floyd Brady scored 24 points while Bill Potter
hauled in 14 rebounds.
3/2/68 -- Hope 89,
Senior Floyd Brady's majestic baseline hook shot in the closing minutes of
his final collegiate game marked his 2,000th point. Hope had already clinched
the MIAA championship. Brady joined the elite ranks of such players as Cazzie
Russell (University of Michigan) and Dave De Busschere (University of Detroit)
with 2,000 or more career points.
2/6/80 -- Hope 65,
Memories of 23 consecutive losses to rival Calvin over an 11-year span
were erased. It also celebrated the birthday of Hope president Gordon J.
a Calvin graduate. The next day's Holland Sentinel noted that "the Hope fans
and players danced with glee." Even the nets were cut down. Coach Glenn Van
Wieren credited his mentor Russ DeVette, who had endured most of the losing
streak as Hope's coach, for the game-winning strategy through his scouting
3/5/82 -- Hope 77,
The Flying Dutchmen were making their very first appearance in the NCAA
Division III tournament against the winningest team in small college basketball.
trailed 37-30 early in the second half, but rallied behind 77% field goal shooting.
In a tribute to the Civic Center atmosphere, the Wittenberg coach noted that
his team "didn't handle the crowd that well." Matt Neil, who was voted the
MIAA's most valuable player, scored 20 points.
1/21/87 -- Hope 84,
The final score and statistics from this game aren't the story. Kalamazoo coach
Ray Steffen was coaching his final game against Hope after 33 seasons at the
helm of the Hornets. As a surprise, Hope's Russ DeVette presented Steffen with
a pair of the traditional hand-carved wooden shoes. Civic Center fans gave
the Kalamazoo coach a sustained standing ovation.
11/20/90 -- Hope versus
This was the game that wasn't. Just three minutes into the second half
with Hope leading season-opening foe Concordia 57-38, the game came to
conclusion. Wade Gugino and Tom Halbert, both attempting a followup dunk off
a missed layup, proved too much for the glass backboard, which shattered. The
game couldn't be continued. Concordia wouldn't agree to return to Holland,
citing scheduling difficulties. The game was declared "suspended" by the NCAA,
meaning that for all practical purposes it wasn't played. Tell that to 2,150
fans who witnessed "THE PLAY."
2/25/95 -- Hope 71,
A victory over their arch rival in the championship game of the MIAA tournament
gave the Flying Dutchmen a perfect 26-0 season. A few days later fans would
be shocked to learn that the Civic Center court did not conform to collegiate
standards and that future NCAA tournament games would have to be played elsewhere.
The college's Dow Center was quickly converted into a spectator facility, but
it obviously didn't give the Flying Dutchmen the same homecourt advantage as
they lost their first game of the year, 72-69 to Baldwin-Wallace, Ohio.
12/28/99 -- Tri-State
93, Hope 84
Tri-State spoiled Hope's 500th game at the Civic Center by defeating the Flying
Dutchmen 93-84 in overtime. It was the opening night of the Russ DeVette Holiday
Classic with fans posing for a commemorative picture that was distributed to
everyone attending game #501 the next night.
1/7/04 -- Hope 109,
Sophomore Andy Phillips scored 45 points in a 109-93 victory over Tri-State.
It was the most points by a Hope player at the Civic Center over 50 seasons
and the second highest in school history.
2/16/05 -- Hope 71,
2/19/05 -- Hope 82, Alma
76 / 2/23/05 -- Hope 90, Alma 77
In the final game between Hope and Calvin at the Civic Center, the Flying Dutchmen
posted a 71-68 victory before the traditional soldout throng and a camera crew
from ESPN. Hope ends its 51-year series of games at the Civic Center against
Calvin with a 31-24 victory advantage.
The Alma Scots were the final MIAA team to play Hope at the Civic Center, bowing
to the Flying Dutchmen in the 2004-05 regular season finale and then three days
later in a first round game of the conference tournament.