posted December 18, 2013

Hope To Honor 1983-84 Men's Basketball Team At Holland Sentinel/Russ DeVette Tournament

From left; front; Tod Gugino; Matt Hester; Jeff Heerdt; Todd Schuiling; Chip Henry; Dan Gustad; and assistant coach Gregg Afman; back; head coach Glenn Van Wieren; Dave Beckman; Steve Majerle; Scott Gugino; John Klunder; Scott Gelander; Jeff Dils; and manager Joe Lyons.

Hope College will honor the 1983-84 men’s basketball team on Saturday during the Holland Sentinel/Russ DeVette Tournament at DeVos Fieldhouse.

The 1983-84 team, which recorded an undefeated regular season, will be recognized at halftime of Hope’s 3 p.m. game in the Sentinel/DeVette Tournament. Fans are invited to meet with team members before the game from 2:30 to 3 p.m. and after the game.

Ten of 12 players from the 1983-84 team will be in attendance, former Hope men’s basketball coach Glenn Van Wieren said. The late Tod Gugino will be represented by his wife, Brenda.

“It is going to be a great time,” Van Wieren said. “Every one of these men has contributed to their community. They are high integrity and high quality men. To see where they have taken their lives and how they have helped others is what you hope for in a team.”

Hope welcomes Illinois Wesleyan, Lake Forest, Ill., and Wilmington, Ohio, for the Sentinel/DeVette Tournament. Friday’s games feature Hope against Lake Forest at 8 p.m. and Illinois Wesleyan against Wilmington at 6 p.m. Saturday’s games are 1 and 3 p.m., with Hope playing at 3 p.m. no matter Friday’s outcome.

Thirty years ago, the Flying Dutchmen finished with a 22-2 overall record after going 22-0 during the regular season to set a school record for consecutive wins. Hope was ranked No. 1 in the country for eight consecutive weeks.

The Flying Dutchmen also claimed their fourth consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championship. Hope was the last undefeated team heading into Great Lakes Regional play in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Forward Chip Henry of Kentwood led the Flying Dutchmen in scoring (17.0 points per game) and rebounding (8.2).

Three teammates also scored in double figures — center Jeff Heerdt of Elmhurst, Ill., at 11.8, guard David Beckman of Shelby at 11.5 and forward John Klunder of Grand Rapids at 11.3. Hope outscored opponents by 17 points per game that season.

Other 1983-84 team members coming back to campus are center Jeff Heerdt, guard Todd Schuiling, center Dan Gustad, guard Jeff Dils, guard Scott Gelander, forward Scott Gugino and guard Steve Majerle. Forward Matt Hester will not attend due to family commitments.

Heerdt and his teammates are looking forward to the reunion.

“When I think back to my years at Hope and Hope basketball it is fun to see my teammates and remember the big games, the long bus trips and the great experiences,” Heerdt said. “Now 30 years later, I realize how blessed I was to be able to attend Hope. Not because we won so many games but because of the quality people that came into my life during that time.”

Added Henry, “It’s a special group of guys. We had a lot of great experiences. I think it started with Coach Van Wieren, then we got a bunch of guys who really didn’t care who was scoring the points or who was getting the recognition. We tried to do the best we could to help the team.” 

Said Beckman, “It has been a really special thing to reconnect with people who were really important at one point of my life. It was just a wonderful time for me, the team and Coach. Reconnecting with those guys has brought back a lot of great memories.”

Added Schuiling, “That was a special team, a talented team with a wonderful coach. Coach Van Wieren was a great leader and mentor. There were some special moments, not only success on the court, but the camaraderie we had as a team.”