Brian Haverdink Reflects on Last Regular Season Home Game At Van Noord Arena
Sunday, February 12, 2012
By Mark DeHaan
Playing in his final regular season home game as a Calvin College Knight, senior Brian Haverdink could not have asked for a better atmosphere than was present against Hope. Although the Knights could not dismantle the Dutch, Haverdink was grateful just the same.
“It was pretty special, I can’t really script it any better than that. The last home game is against Hope, got all the people out there watching, and that makes it a lot more fun,” said Haverdink. “Everyone loves playing in these games, and there’s a little nostalgia when it’s the last home game of your senior year so you kind of think back to all the other games you’ve been playing in.”
Haverdink’s last regular season game in Van Noord Arena was marked with an 11-point, six-rebound performance by Calvin’s lone senior against the team ranked number one in the nation in Division III.
“You kind of approach it like you’re the underdog, even though in a rivalry you kind of throw records out the window,” said Haverdink. “They come in number one in the country, so there’s obviously a lot of attention, so that kind of ups the ante a little bit.”
In his three seasons as a varsity player, Haverdink says that getting to know his teammates has often been the most fun.
“It sounds cliché, but meeting all the guys and establishing friendships, I’d say that’s the thing that I’m going to take with me the most. You take the games and stuff, which obviously are fun, and that’s kind of what everybody else sees, but the hours you put in with every other guy on the team – and the relationships you build – are probably the most special.”
With his career coming to a close, Haverdink found that the easiest thing to say was that his career has “always been a surprise. Every year you work hard, you see what happens, and you surprise yourself with the playing time you get or the role you have on the team,” said Haverdink. “To put it all into words is hard. It’s a great experience – I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world.”