Former Holland Christian Standouts Team Up on Calvin Men’s Basketball Team
Sunday, December 11, 2011
By Sports Information Student Assistant Mark DeHaan/Photos by Sandy Palmatter
For the first time in almost two decades, Holland Christian High School has produced three varsity basketball players at Calvin College in senior Brian Haverdink, sophomore Jordan Mast and freshman Tyler Dykstra. The former Maroons are all excited to help build Calvin’s program while playing with each other.
Haverdink is a 6’4” guard/forward and is the lone senior on this year’s Calvin squad.
“Brian is a senior captain, a really hard worker, and very mature for his age,” said Heach Coach Kevin Vande Streek. “He’s a great leader, fundamentally sound, and always puts the team first.”
Haverdink decided to come to Calvin after visiting some friends while he was a senior at Holland Christian. “It was not your typical trip or anything, I just came to visit some friends and fell in love with the college. Three days before tryouts my freshmen year I decided to try out for basketball.”
After an 83-63 victory over Trinity Christian College, Haverdink commented on the progress the team has made so far this season. “We’ve had good and bad. Defensively, we made a lot of strides today. At Calvin, anything short of a conference championship is a disappointment.”
Although he is not the most athletic player on the team, Haverdink plays a very smart and fundamentally sound game, which he credits to former Maroons coach and ‘67-‘70 Calvin basketball player Mike Phelps. “Phelps did a lot as far as basketball knowledge goes. I needed to be more cerebral (on the court), be a manager of the game – I credit Phelps for that.”
Haverdink says that being the lone senior is both “good and interesting.” Being the only senior, though, doesn’t feel different. “I’m not at all singled out. This is my third year playing with the juniors. I just have to take on some leadership roles as the only senior.”
Haverdink is currently averaging 3.4 points a game along with two rebounds a game and 1.2 assists per contest.
Mast is a 6’5” guard/forward playing his first year on varsity. “Jordan is really coming along, I’m excited about his potential,” said Vande Streek. “Last year on junior varsity he shot 46 or 47% from three-point range, so he’s a nice weapon off the bench.”
Mast chose to attend Calvin because of the engineering program. “I wanted to come to a Christian college that had good engineering and basketball, and Calvin had both.”
Mast said that playing with two other former Maroons has been a lot of fun. “I was looking forward to playing with ‘Havs’ and Dykstra. It’s nice to come in knowing each other.”
Being part of the team has been a lot of fun so far this year Mast said, and the trip to Seattle during Christmas break will be a tough test and a great way to prepare the team for conference.
“Playing with all the guys, we’re definitely getting closer. The trip to Seattle should be great, but now we get a little break before we go to Seattle and then get to start conference.”
Mast prides himself on playing tough defense and scrappy on both ends of the floor. “In high school, I enjoyed playing hard defense, running all around, grabbing offensive rebounds. It’s all about effort. Once the effort is put in, I’m just trying to let the rest come after.”
After a 13-point performance against Trinity, Mast’s point per game average moved up to 4.4 a game while shooting 47.6% from three-point range, second highest percentage on the team. Mast also averages nearly three rebounds and an assist per game.
Dykstra is a 6’8” forward in his first year at Calvin College. Dykstra chose Calvin because of the atmosphere surrounding both the college and the basketball program. “I wanted to come to a small Christian college. It’s close to home – I’ve loved it so far,” he said.
Dykstra says that the season has had its up and downs, but the team is progressing. “We’re progressing and getting better each game. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The college game has been a lot quicker than in high school, Dykstra commented.
“The pace is a lot faster, every-one is smarter and stronger.”
Knowing two players on the team has helped his transition, though. “It’s cool to have the (immediate) chemistry because of playing with them in high school and already knowing their game.”
Dykstra has been trying to make the most of the few minutes he has been given, averaging under a point a game and a rebound per game.
Said Coach Vande Streek: “Tyler is just getting it figured out. He’s really long and athletic; he’s versatile – he can handle the ball, pass, good at slashing and finishing – we’re really excited to have him.”
Calvin, 5-4 on the season, now takes a short break before heading to Seattle,WA to face Whitworth University and Whitman University December 29 and 30.
Said Haverdink: “We play two games in Washington to get us ready for conference. They will be two very tough games, so we’re not really easing our way in. We’re young, tall, and athletic – we have a lot of potential.”