High school hoops comes to SFC July 2, 2009
From Thursday, June 25, through Saturday, June 27, Calvin hosted a 12-team high school basketball camp in the new Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex.
Teams from the west Michigan area, as well as a few from out of state, participated in basketball drills and friendly competition before facing each other in a tournament on Saturday.
Competing in the event were Denver Christian, Hull-Western Christian, Illiana Christian, Central Wisconsin Christian, Sheboygan Christian, Grand Rapids Christian, South Christian, Holland Christian, Hudsonville-Unity Christian, Covenant Christian, Tri-Unity Christian, and Northern Michigan Christian.
"The tournament went very well from a play standpoint, and was absolutely great exposure for Calvin,” said Kevin Vande Streek, Calvin’s men’s basketball coach.
One big benefit of the event was that many of the high school players got a first look at Calvin’s new facilities. “It means a lot to Calvin College in general. The guys from Denver, for example, other than the head coach—none of guys had ever been here before…,” Vande Streek said. “Just to be exposed to Calvin College is important.”
Brian Hengeveld, 17, from Western Christian High School, which is a 12-hour car ride from northwest Iowa, was one of the students seeing the facilities for the first time. “It is really nice and looks like it is well designed,” said Hengeveld, who added that, in spite of being a little late for his first game, he enjoyed himself.
Vande Streek was excited to get the teams in for camp especially because there had been no team camps for the past couple of years due to construction. He said that this year’s camp featured a few more teams than normal and also allowed for everyone to stay in the dorms, which had never been done before.
"It is neat and builds a little community,” said Vande Streek. “They are eating meals together and getting a campus tour and having devotions as a group. So it is a neat all-around experience.”
Doug Taatjes (right, in black shirt), a 1971 Calvin graduate and local commercial realtor, spoke to the players about their faith and about Calvin, which Vande Streek said added to the experience for everyone.
Mitch Torres, 17, from South Christian High School called the camp “pretty sweet” and added: “They got a really nice gym, and the dorms are pretty nice,” he said.
Vande Streek said it was no small task to organize this year’s camp, considering most teams numbered about 12 guys. He calculated that about 180 people were at the camp, not including visiting parents and family.
On the court, Hull-Western beat Illiana for the championship to conclude Saturday’s tournament. Vande Streek compared himself to a chicken with no head as he juggled overseeing the camp and watching each game.
When asked if he was scanning for potential recruits, he laughed: “Selfishly, it is great bringing everyone in and getting a chance to see a little bit,” said Vande Streek, with a chuckle. “My assistants are working the clock, so they have a better chance to just sit and watch games than what I do. For us to be able to watch them play is a great opportunity.”
~by Matt Decker, communications and marketing