posted March 5, 2003

MIAA Basketball MVPs Hail from Hope

They attended the same high school, enrolled at Hope four years ago, have played four seasons at the post position and today have been named the most valuable player in MIAA basketball.

Hope seniors Amanda Kerkstra and Don Overbeek top the coaches' All-MIAA basketball teams after leading their respective teams to conference championships and berths in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Kerkstra and Overbeek prepped at Calvin Christian High School in suburban Grand Rapids. Each lettered four seasons at Hope, Kerkstra finishing as the alltime leading scorer in women's basketball and Overbeek etching his name as the alltime leading shot-blocker.

Kerkstra is joined on the All-MIAA women's first team by senior guard Amy Baltmanis of Paw Paw, Mich. Overbeek is Hope's only All-MIAA first team men's honoree.

Brothers Chad (a senior) and Jeff (a freshman) Carlson of Holland, Mich. were voted to the men's All-MIAA second team along with sophomore teammate Greg Immink of Hudsonville, Mich. Senior Colleen Corey of Jenison, Mich. achieved the second team recognition in women's basketball.

It marks the third time in Hope basketball history that players from both the women's and men's team have earned MIAA MVP honors in the same season. The other times were: 1990, Eric Elliott and Dina Disney; 1995, Duane Bosma and Kristin Carlson.

Amanda Kerkstra is being honored as the MIAA MVP for the second time in her career. After achieving the distinction as a sophomore, she missed a major portion of the league campaign as a junior because of an injury. This year she became the first Hope player to lead the MIAA in scoring, averaging 16.5 points a game. She leads the Dutch into the NCAA tournament with 1,457 career points. Hope in her four seasons has posted a 101-11 record.

Overbeek dominated the post position in the MIAA this season, leading the league in blocked shots for the third consecutive year. He is Hope's alltime shot-block leader with 263, including 93 this season. An All-MIAA first team honoree as both a junior and senior, he is on the brink of back-to-back seasons of scoring more than 400 points and exceeding 200 rebounds. This year he has scored 396 points and grabbed 235 rebounds.