Calvin-Hope rivalry reaches Northern Ireland

Belfast couple watch from afar after meeting at 2007 game


Summer 2013

Sarah and Dave '01 Gebben

Sarah and Dave '01 Gebben

Each year, the Calvin-Hope men’s basketball rivalry adds new stories to an already full file of amazing tales.

Many times, that story comes from what happens on the court, as the intense hardcourt battle between the Knights and the Flying Dutchmen provides highlight-reel plays.

Increasingly, however, the 80-plus satellite-site parties (and alumni huddled around their computers) bring delightful tales of devotion to alma mater. Such is the case in the 2013 edition, as a Calvin husband and a Hope wife tuned in to the February game from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

That’s not all. They met at a Calvin-Hope Rivalry satellite viewing party in 2007.

Dave Gebben, an ’01 Calvin grad, was working on his master’s at Michigan State University in East Lansing when he attended a Calvin-Hope game site in that town. There he met Sarah McDonald, a 2006 Hope grad, and the rest is history.

The Gebbens now live in Belfast, where Dave has a postdoctoral position with Queen’s University.

“Since we met at a satellite game back in 2007 and haven’t missed one since, we were wondering if we could host a game here in Belfast or if it would be possible to watch over here on our own,” Dave e-mailed the Calvin alumni office (alumni@calvin.edu).

The Gebbens did watch it on their own, but more than 3,000 other Calvin and Hope alumni met in more than 80 other locations coast to coast and abroad for another great day of basketball and socializing.

The teams—and alumni—will prepare for the 186th Calvin-Hope game on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.