Calvin Men’s Basketball to face Wittenberg in First Round NCAA III Tourney Game in St. Louis, MO
Monday, March 03, 2014
The Calvin men’s basketball team will head to the campus of Washington University of St. Louis this weekend to participate in a four-team NCAA III Regional. Calvin will face Wittenberg in a first round game on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. (CST). The game will mark the seventh meeting between the two teams in the NCAA III Tournament in men’s basketball and the first since 1995. Wittenberg is 5-1 against Calvin in NCAA III Tournament play. This will be the second meeting between the two teams in the NCAA III Tournament on a neutral floor as the two teams met in a regional consolation game in 1987 at Otterbein University. Ranked 24th in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, Calvin (22-5) advanced to to the NCAA III Tournament by winning the MIAA Tournament title this past Saturday, defeating Hope 78-53 in the title tilt. A member of the North Coast Athletic Conference, #23 Wittenberg (21-7) received an at-large (Pool C) bid to the NCAA III Tournament. The Tigers advanced to the NCAC Tournament finals this past Saturday, falling to host Wooster 71-63. Second-ranked Washington University (23-2) will face Wilmington (19-8) in Friday’s other first round game at 8 p.m. (CST). Washington University is a member of the University Athletic Association (UAA) while Wilmington is a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC).
Friday - March 3
#24 Calvin vs. #23 Wittenberg – 530 pm (CT)
Wilmington vs. #2 Washington U. - 8 pm (CT)
Washington University (22-3, 14-0 UAA) won its third-straight and 13th overall University Athletic Association (UAA) championship this season to earn the league’s automatic bid. The Bears are making their 18th NCAA appearance as a Division III school and 21st overall, and sport a 31-15 (.674) all-time post-season record in Division III play. Washington University was the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Division III National Champion.
Wilmington (18-8, 13-5 OAC) earned the automatic bid after winning the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) tournament title with a 69-63 win over John Carroll University. The Fightin’ Quakers have won six of their last seven games, and had a 65-63 win at NCAA Division I Miami University (Ohio) Nov. 23. Wilmington is making its second NCAA appearance with a 1-1 all-time record.
Wittenberg (21-5, 13-3 NCAC) earned an at-large bid after falling to No.8-ranked College of Wooster 71-63 in the championship game of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Tournament. The Tigers, who had a season-long 11-game winning streak, are making their 27th NCAA appearance with an all-time record of 51-26. Wittenberg, the winningest team in NCAA Division III history with a 1,691-682 overall record, has made seven Final Four appearances and was the 1977 NCAA Division III National Champion.
Calvin (22-5, 12-2 MIAA) earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a 78-53 win at No. 24 Hope College in the championship game of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Tournament. The Knights are making their 19th NCAA appearance and have a 32-19 all-time NCAA record. Calvin has made four Final Four appearances and was the 1992 and 2000 NCAA Division III National Champion
Daniel Stout Widens Horizons On Summer Abroad in Honduras
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
By Mark DeHaan
Spending a summer in Honduras is not the typical way a college student fills his or her summer vacation. Instead of trips to the beach, movies with friends, or family vacations, Calvin College student Dan Stout was taking classes, translating for American visitors, and living with a Honduran family.
As a Spanish major, Stout is required to spend a semester abroad in a Spanish speaking country in order to fulfill his major requirements. Also a basketball player, Stout wanted to avoid any conflict with the sport that spans both the fall and spring semesters. So, with the help of faculty at Calvin, Stout was able to work out a summer semester, one that fulfilled his major’s requirements while also avoiding any conflicts with basketball.
A junior from Escondido, California, a town just 30 miles north of San Diego, Stout chose to be a Spanish major because of his familiarity with the language and the ease with which he picked it up.
“Spanish always came easy to me,” said Stout who is part of a Calvin men’s basketball team headed to the NCAA III Tournament this weekend in St. Louis, Missouri. “The summers before (going to Honduras) I worked with people whose primary language was Spanish all day and I spoke Spanish eight hours a day at work.”
While in Honduras, Stout took courses in math, sociology, and art appreciation. Stout said that courses were very much the same, besides being in Spanish, but the setting in which he learned was in stark contrast to here in the United States.
“They didn’t turn the lights on until it was dark to save money. Most of the students there, because it is a public university, pay around the equivalent of $5 for tuition for one of the trimesters,” said Stout. “None of the buildings had air conditioning – they just left all the windows open and doors open. It was hot most of the time, but luckily it would rain, and when it rained that was when it was nice outside.”
While not in class, Stout was able to play basketball to keep up his game, practicing with university as well as pro players in the city.
“The professional players in the town were pretty comparable with Division III players,” said Stout. “There was a guy that was 6’8”, 280 pounds who had played pro in Russia for about 10 years, and I think four guys from the (local) pro team played on the Honduran National Team, so they had a lot of skilled players on that team.”
Stout also traveled as well as volunteered time while in Honduras, taking trips with other university students while translating for American guests.
“I got to translate for another group of Americans that came down for a little while because I volunteered at a kids camp for kids with HIV for a weekend up in the mountains,” said Stout. “I also helped with a basketball camp with that same group of Americans. They came to the university and they ran a basketball camp for 500 kids. I was also coaching, trying to help with that too.”
Despite filling his time with basketball, school work, and translating, Stout was able to find time to be a tourist on a couple of weekends, including a trip to the beach.
“I went on a couple trips with kids at the university to the Caribbean and to Mayan ruins, so those were really nice and a lot of fun,” said Stout.
Stout’s time in Honduras is something he will never forget and an experience he would like to re-live soon.
“I’d love to go back – stay by the Caribbean for a little bit, see the host family again, and who knows, maybe play a little bit of basketball.”
Breanna Verkaik and Kayla Engelhard Receive All-MIAA Women’s Basketball Honors
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Two members of the Calvin women’s basketball team have received All-MIAA honors. Named to the All-MIAA first team from Calvin are junior Breanna Verkaik while junior teammate Kayla Engelhard has been named to the All-MIAA second team.
Verkaik (Holland/Holland Christian HS) is receiving All-MIAA honors for the first time. She is the third individual from her family to be named an All-MIAA athlete as her father Mike Verkaik was an All-MIAA men’s cross country selection in 1982 while her older sister Carissa Verkaik was a four-time first team All-MIAA selection in basketball (2010-2013) and a three-time All-MIAA selection in track and field.
This year, Breanna Verkaik finished third in the MIAA scoring race, averaging 16.3 points a game in league play. She closed the year with a nine-game double-figure scoring streak, averaging 19 points a game during that stretch. She also led the league in field goal percentage (.549) and was second in free throw percentage (.836) and three-point field goal percentage (.424) and was third in blocked shots per-game (1.19). She was named MIAA Player of the Week once during the year.
Engelhard (Unionville/Saginaw Valley Lutheran HS) averaged 12.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per-game while connecting on 37 percent of her three-point field goal attempts in league play.
Engelhard was ranked third in the MIAA in steals, tied for fourth in assists, sixth in three-point field goal percentage and 11th in scoring average. In the MIAA Tournament, she averaged 17.5 points a game.
“Breanna and Kayla both had terrific years and we are proud of them for receiving all-league recognition,” said Calvin women’s basketball coach John Ross. “Their awards reflect on the success of the entire team.”
Calvin finished the year with an overall record of 19-8. The Knights finished third in the MIAA regular season standings at 10-4.