6-2 | 165 | Sr. | G
Close-knit rivals play on international stage
• Who is your team’s biggest rival and why?
Calvin is certainly Hope’s biggest rival. The rivalry dates back a long way, but is perpetuated every year. There are a multitude of reasons the rivalry stays so intense to this day. Kids in western Michigan grow up hearing about the rivalry and a lot of them have the oppurtunity to play for both schools. In the end, some kids chose Hope while some chose Calvin, and that leaves both teams with a group of kids who have played each other for a long period of time growing up and have now chosen a side.
But the biggest reason this rivalry has lasted, I believe, is the competitiveness created by two programs — close in proximity with a tradition of excellence on the basketball court — that continue to battle year after year to win championships and be the best Division III basketball program.
• What moment and from when is your best memory against Hope?
My favorite moment in the rivalry was probably my freshman year when we beat Calvin in the MIAA Tournament for the automatic bid to play in the NCAA tournament. Calvin had beaten us twice that year and we were able to play very well as a team to beat them on their home floor in a game that denied them the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament.
• When did you realize this rivalry was so big?
It was a process for me to realize the magnitude of the rivalry. My high school coach played basketball at Hope and had always talked to me about the Rivalry, so I knew a little bit about it in high school.
After that it was when I was being recruited by both Hope and Calvin. I was able to go to all three Hope-Calvin games that year and the atmosphere surrounding all three was awesome and really excitied me.
Finally, after I began my career at Hope, I began to understand it even more when, during the week of the first Calvin game, people I never met sent me emails wishing me luck and telling me to beat Calvin.
• What is your favorite college sports rivalry other than your school’s and why?
I love college basketball and have always loved the Duke vs. UNC rivalry because of the tradition both those schools have. However, being the son of two Michigan State graduates and a die-hard Spartan fan, I think that the MSU vs. Michigan game has always meant more to me than perhaps it should. It may not be widely recognized as a BIG rivalry in college basketball, but for me, that game was always huge.