200 games: The storied Calvin-Hope rivalry

NCAA Hoops

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — When Hope and Calvin play for the 200th time Saturday, it will be one of the rare times where the conference championship won’t be decided by the game’s final score. Regardless, the game will have a championship intensity.

“There’s definitely some trash talk between the lines,” senior Jason Beckman said with a laugh. “There are some things that are said that aren’t appropriate between the lines, but that adds to the excitement of the game.”

To grasp how fierce the rivalry is, you have to go back in time. Uniforms looked a bit different, but just like could happen Saturday, legends were made.

“It’s pretty cool to be a part of something that has been going on that’s been going on for 200 contests,” said Calvin head coach Kevin Vande Streek. “That doesn’t happen every day.”

“A lot of places have rivalry games,”  Hope head coach Greg Mitchell said. “But until someone has been here, seen it, felt it, there’s nothing like it.”

Glenn Van Wieren has won the most games in Hope history. His all-time record is 660-219. Against Calvin, it’s a little different story as he coached his way to a 46-41 career mark. 

Calvin’s Ed Douma led the Knights to a national championship. His career record was 254-72. Against Hope, it seemed to be much more of a challenge: He finished 17-13 against his biggest rival.

Victories against Hope were always sweeter.

“We had a lot of satisfying wins. I’d say this one is currently the most satisfying,” he said after a win in 1992. 

Winning does not come easy in this rivalry. The overall record in the series sees Hope leading 103-96.

It’s not just the players on the court either. The fans pack the arenas for this contest. In 1997, the schools set an NCAA Division III attendance record as 11,442 fans settled into Van Andel Arena to watch the matchup.

Bloodlines run deep in this series. Kevin Broene, who played for Vande Streek in the 1990s was a third-generation Knight. Current Calvin Athletic Director Jim Timmer was a key player for Calvin while his father watched from the Knight’s bench. Steve Hondred played on the that team, too. His father, a former Calvin head coach, was also the athletic director. 

Hope’s family ties go way back too. Klunder brothers Jim, John, and Dan all played for the Flying Dutchmen. 

The last four Hope coaches, Greg Mitchell, Matt Neil, Glenn Van Wieren and Russ DeVette, all played in this series too. The last coach that didn’t play for the Flying Dutchmen was Bud Hinga. That was in 1948. 

Those are just a few examples in this storied series.

Tip-off Saturday is at 3 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland

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