|hope.edu | hope athletics | miaa | ncaa | links|
Some Final Thoughts
Oh what a day! Once we had all bought our umbrellas, it wasn't raining quite as much anymore...Murphy's Law?! We spent the last day of our trip in Frankfurt where we visited various important sites of German history: the Kaisersaal (Emperor's Room) on the Römer (the city's town hall) where all German emperors from the mid-1600s until the late-1800s were crowned; the cathedral where they showed their allegiance to the church; the Paulskirche where the first democratic German plenaries took place in 1847/48; the Goethe-Haus where Frankfurt's most famous son (who else but Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) was born; and others.
Oh what a day! Ever since 2000 when Hope College approved Coach Morehouse's international trips with his women's basketball team, he and I have embraced the opportunities. 2000 first, then 2004, and now 2008. With each trip, our experiences have grown greater along with the respective team's experiences. With each trip, our joy of seeing a great group of Hope College students embrace the opportunity given to them has grown.
Oh what a day! Let's not forget that we also played basketball this last day: a rematch against Rhein-Main Baskets (our hosts) was on the agenda. The team had something to prove since they had lost the first game of our trip against this one team. The attitude was impeccable, and it propelled Hope College to victory. I enjoyed a great basketball game.
Oh what a trip! These trips empower me to personally give back to my alma mater. I truly enjoy the opportunity of showing fellow Hope College friends parts of the world that they may not otherwise see. I enjoy every single question, every single conversation, and every single discussion (they were all constructive...). This is what brings us all closer together: We have even met other Hope College alumni throughout the trip--in Frankfurt, Germany and in Eindhoven, Netherlands: we are everywhere, and we are one great community.
Let us not forget our past, let us remember forever. Let us learn from our histories and come together to make this world a better place!
Thank you very much, Hope College, and thank you very much even more so to the women's basketball team for enriching my life and helping me enrich other lives.
Results of Game Five (8/19/08)
Hofheim/Langen defeated Hope 76-71 in their first meeting. The Hofheim roster included three players from Germany's junior national team. Hope ended with a record of 4-1 on their trip.
"We were all excited to get a chance to play this team again because we knew it was going to be a tough and competitive game," said coach Brian Morehouse. "I was very impressed with this team in particular and we were able to learn a lot from their up-tempo style of play and aggressiveness. We shot a very high percentage and were able to adjust to the referees in the second to stay out of foul trouble. It was great to be able to end the trip on a big win, but I was also happy that our seniors got to go out on a win for their last time wearing a Hope College basketball uniform."
Sophomore Carrie Snikkers (Hudsonville, Mich.) led the team with 15 points and six rebounds while sophomore Abby Phillips (Wayland, Mich.) tallied 13 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Lauren Geers (Scottville, Mich.) followed with nine points and four steals while junior Jenny Cowen (Dexter, Mich.) added eight points and had five steals. Senior Courtney Knox (Mattawan, Mich.) had a solid game with six points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Monday, August 18
We took a chair lift up half a mile to the top of a mountain. At the top we hiked a few miles to amazing birds' eye landscapes of the surrounding cities along the Rhine. Another statue dedicated to Wilhelm I topped the mountain and was again a symbol of the new unified Germany. We hiked the 2 miles back down the mountain through field after field of grapes to the town of Rudesheim which is known for its many vineyards.
Most of the group looked for a place to watch the Germany versus United States basketball game, in hopes of having a Chris Kaman sighting. Apparently Germans are not as interested in Olympic basketball as we are and only handball and table tennis were shown. We left Rudesheim on a ferry that took us to our original location where we left for our nights stay at the youth hostel in Wiesbaden.
Wiesbaden was our first city experience that finally reminded us more of big cities in the United States. There were many places to shop, but it was not as clean and the people were less approachable than in other cities. That being said we still managed to spot two other Michiganers at the restaurant we ate dinner at. Jim and Tami Phillips, no relation to Abby Phillips, from Sault Ste. Marie, who had several Hope connections, were sitting at the table next to us. They spotted our t-shirts and we had one of those great small world conversations.
It has been amazing to us how many people around the world have had Hope play some role in their lives. We know for us it has done more than what we could ever pay back. We are tremendously blessed to have had this opportunity and couldn't ask to have spent our first trip to Europe together with a better group of people.
One of our quotes throughout the trip has been, "Makin' Memories", but while memories are things of the past these relationships we have built for the future will truly be what we take home forever.
Thanks again Dutch!
Sunday, August 17
We left our little town of Ospel, just outside of Eindhoven this morning and headed back to Germany. Our next stop was the city of Koblenz. The city is located where the Rhine River meets the Mosel River. Koblenz is home to Deutsche Eck, "The German Corner". Here stands a 150 foot tall statue of Wilhelm the first, sitting upon his noble stead. This great man, who is comparable to George Washington in American history, is known to have joined multiple German nations in the year 1848. The statue was destroyed during WWII, and rebuilt in 1953 as a symbol of the reunification of Germany. However, Germany did not become one complete nation until 1990 when the wall was torn down between east and west Germany.
We then set off to enjoy the city. To our pleasant surprise, we came across "Dragon Races" on the Rhine River. Teams of 20 sat in row boats, dressed up and raced downstream in their fifth annual event. We all wanted to jump in a boat, but though otherwise, as we didn't want to embarrass the locals - or ourselves. After visiting this city center for a few hours, we discovered that it's much like West Michigan, in the sense that Sunday is considered a family day, and not many restaurants or shops are open. It was a very nice experience, strolling through the laid back town, simply enjoying the beautiful buildings, mountainous scenery and the barges plowing through the Rhine River.
After leaving the city, we left for our stay at the castle that overlooked the Rhine River. This castle stands about 800 feet above the River and has an amazing view of the city and surrounding areas of Koblenz. We ended our evening at the castle, watching the sunset, playing ping pong and exploring the grounds. We are all looking forward to continuing our experiences on the Rhine River tomorrow!
Auf Wiedersehen und gut Nacht "good-bye and good night"
Saturday, August 16
We arrived at the gym for our game, instantly taking notice to the condition of the gym. Not only was this the first actual wooden floor that we have played on this entire trip, but the gym is a home to the Dutch National Team. Because of the timing of our trip, the team we played had not actually started their season. Due to this, the team did not have many players and instead had to find last minute substitutes for our game. With their team being half the size of ours, at halftime, we sent Stacy Warsen, Julie, Henderson, Lindsay Lange, as well as Coach Colleen Martin over to aid them. Although a bit strange to see our alum in the opponents uniforms, it was still a lot of fun to be on the floor with them...even if they we were trying to beat each other. After the game we were congratulated by a Hope Alum married couple who now live in the Netherlands, and had come to support us! We had the pleasure of meeting them at The Gibbs' BBQ earlier this week...so it was nice to see a couple of familiar faces in the stands.
When it was all said and done, everyone was pretty hungry, so we went to a nearby Italian restaurant...accompanied by an old friend of the programs' (a host family from previous trips taken by the Hope Women's Basketball team). The food was A-MAZING. Which afterwards we all decided to walk down the street and get a little ice cream.
We finally got back to our hostel, and spent the night relaxing while playing cards or enjoying catching some of the Olympics. Tomorrow, word on the street is that we're heading to a castle of some sort to stay the night.
A Change in Format (8/16/08)
Results of Game Four (8/15/08)
Coach Brian Morehouse's Flying Dutch are 3-1 with two games remaining.
Hope had four players finish in double figures led by sophomore Carries Snikkers (Hudsonville, Mich.) with 16 points along with six rebounds and two steals. Sophomore Lauren Geers (Scottville, Mich.) followed with 11 points and nine rebounds while sophomore Erik Bruinsma (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and junior Jenny Cowens each tallied 10. Senior Courtney Knox (Mattawan, Mich.) just missed a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds while junior Megan Mejeur (St. Joseph, Mich.) had a solid game with seven pointsd, six rebounds and four assists.
"After two long days in Amsterdam I wondered how well we would play but was pleasantly surprised," said Coach Morehouse. "We shot the ball well from both inside and out. Our pressure defense took them out of their game and created a lot of our offense. We were able to hold them scoreless with a 16-0 run in the first six minutes. Our rebounding was our main focus for tonight's game and it was the best it had been all trip. With the 20-point lead in the first half we were able to have some fun and even made our starting lineup of all people with Dutch heritage since we are in Holland." Morehouse noted that the trip has also been a great demonstration of just how special a place Hope College is because Flying Dutch fans just seem to be everywhere! On Friday Mike, Sue and Tommy Mahffie, family to current Hope student Ben Mahaffie, came to Boxtel with their Hope College apparel. Coincidently Ben works on the grounds crew at Hope with Jenny Cowen.
"It brings a great deal of pride to find people across the world who know and support the school you attend," said Morehouse.
Thursday, August 14
Eager to make more memories we scurried on the closest tram and headed to town. Sixteen English speaking girls piled into the Dutch speaking tram without a clue of where to go or how to pay. Needless to say we turned some heads and gathered some stares. A few train stops later we opened ours and there before us was the Dam Square, the hubbub of downtown. From there we split into smaller groups and ventured out into the brick streets. Popular attractions included the House of Anne Frank, Canal Tours on boat, souvenir shops, and restaurants. As we toured the city we enjoyed a culture much different from our own.
Early the next morning we chowed down some more bread and cheese for breakfast. Then we picked up our FREE sack lunches provided by the hostel and headed back into the city for one final day of adventure. Since the shock of the day before was wearing on us, most of the group spent time enjoying the pleasant weather, beautiful brick buildings and roads, and the unique people walking down the sidewalks.
Memories were made in high spirits this evening as the Lady Dutch chalked up another victory. The team we played was from Boxtel and the ages of the players ranged from 14 to 40. We continue to look forward to the remaining days of the trip. Thank you for following along with our Dutch adventures.
Results of Third Game (8/13/08)
Senior Courtney Knox (Mattawan, Mich.) had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds to go along with four steals. Sophomore Erika Bruinsma (Grand Rapids, Mich.) led all scorers with 16 points while junior Jennny Cowen (Dexter, Mich.) added 11 points. Sophomore Carrie Snikkers just missed a double-double with seven points and eight rebounds. Hope was credited with 29 steals in the game.
"Our defense was the best it has been all week," said coach Morehouse. "We were able to pressure the ball well and switch up defenses. This game gave us a chance to try out different people in different positions. At one point in the game we had Bruinsma, Snikkers, Lange, Kutney and Knox (each player at least six feet tall) in at the same time and another rotation we used all guards. There was an even distribution of scoring from players."
Morehouse said that in addition to a good basketball performance the players were able to make a international connection. Before the game both teams exchanged gifts and met Hope alumna, LauRianna Hof-VandeVusse, Class of 1989, and her six-year-old son Rafael. While at Hope Rianna painted the pictures of a body builder that today hang in the college's Dow Center.
Wednesday, August 13
During this long car ride one of our teammates, who wishes to remain anonymous (a-hem Rachael Kutney), accidentally dropped one of her tennis shoes out of the van without knowing. Hours later when we reached our destination, Rachael realized she was short a shoe. Everyone had a good laugh when Rachael strutted into a souvenir shop to buy a pair of flip-flops for the remainder of the trip. She's a trooper.
At the same stop, we all a got a chance to get our first look at the North Sea. Some of us even dipped our feet in it. Unfortunately, the weather turned sour and it started raining, so we headed back to the vans and on to our next destination. Just a few miles down the road was Madurodam; a miniature version of the Netherlands. We spent the afternoon wandering the mini-country and learning about the different attractions and landmarks. We even got to ride the train that surrounded the park.
Then it was game time. We pushed through the exhaustion, and pulled out a lopsided "W". We exchanged gifts with the other team and all received small, authentic, Dutch ceramic shoes. The team we played was very friendly and a lot of fun to play against. Our team was pleasantly surprised to have a Hope Alum, who currently lives in the Netherlands, attend our game with her son! It was really nice to have some supporters in the crowd. We ended the night by driving back to our Hostel to relax and get some shut-eye. Next stop, Amsterdam.
Tuesday, August 12
We drove through a lot more of the countryside today and saw many more Dutch style homes and farms...even a few old-fashioned windmills. At about three o'clock we arrived in the small town we would be staying in for the night and found our hotel. We got settled in and then explored the town for a few hours. Being that it was the middle of a school day and work day, we didn't get to meet many people, however we got a good idea of daily life in a small Dutch town. We tried to visit a church unsuccessfully, but we did get to see a traditional cemetery that was very different from a United States cemetery, but very beautiful.
After walking around for a while, we drove about ten minutes to a restaurant for dinner. It was cafeteria style and the food was pretty good, even though we didn't know what some of it was. We were just beginning to pick up on a few German words and had to start all over again with a whole new language. We made our way back to the hotel and decided to relax for a little while.
We were surprised to find out that the Netherlands carries many English and American channels so we could watch the Olympics for a while. Tomorrow we will be getting up early for breakfast and make our way towards the greater Eindhoven area to do some touring and play in a basketball game later that night.
Results of Second Game (8/11/08)
"We were able to come out strong from the beginning as a team and keep the intensity the full 40 minutes.," said coach Brian Morehouse. "We played with more energy and confidence now that we know what to expect from the European Officials. Our team defense improved greatly from our first game which was key to our win tonight"
Sophomore Abby Phillips (Wayland, Mich.) led in scoring with nine points while sophomore Carrie Snikkers (Hudsonville, Mich.) had eight points and eight rebounds. Junior Jenny Cowen (Dexter, Mich.) followed with seven points and three rebounds.
Monday, August 11
We departed from Hofheim and headed toward Cologne, Germany. We were allowed to mill around and explore the city. We went shopping in all the different stores. It was interesting to see some familiar restaurants and stores. Along with McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks, and H&M there were many different stores than back at home. While walking around we saw dogs everywhere walking in and out of stores, we thought that was a little strange.
While the shopping in Cologne was great, the main site to see was the Cologne Cathedral. Words can not describe how large and breathtaking the cathedral was. The building of the cathedral began in 1748, but was not completed until 1880. The highest point stands 157.31 meters tall. Many of the players climbed up 509 steps to the observation tower, which was at 97,25 meters. Inside the cathedral was amazing. It almost seemed as if everyone was in awe of it because it was so quiet.
After exploring Cologne we checked into our hotel and found a place to eat dinner. We completed our day with a winning game against a team
that lives just outside Cologne. Tomorrow we will find our way to the Netherlands and will stay in youth hostels the rest of the week until Sunday. We then
will stay in a Castle one night and head back to Hofheim for one night. We are excited to learn more about Germany and the Netherlands and cannot
wait for the days to come.
Monday, August 11
Sunday, August 10
Results of First Game (8/9/08)
"It was a very physical game and it took the girls awhile to get going," said assistant coach Morgan Hughes.
Hope's leading scorers were Carrie Snikkers with 13 points and Miranda DeKuiper with eight. Everybody on Hope's traveling team played an equal amount of time.
Saturday, August 9
We arrived in Frankfurt Germany around noon yesterday. We took a 20-minute bus ride to the city of Hofheim where we spent the afternoon touring the small shops and cafes. Later in the afternoon we met our host famililes who we would be staying with the next three days. This morning we woke up and had a very lovely breakfast with our host families. Breakfast consisted of warm loafs of bread, jam, and nutella (chocolate peanut butter). We had practice at one this afternoon where we spent most the time learning the differences between American basketball and European basketball, along with getting used to the differences of the gym and court style. Returning from practice we spent time watching the Olympics while relaxing in the sun, too. The city is beautiful and we have a great view from the deck of our house. Before our game today we spent time participating in family day at the Hofheim gym. This consisted of watching some of the children play basketball and also playing games with them. Our first experience playing in Germany was great. Before the game we presented them with presents for being so accommodating. The game went well and it was very hard to get use to the differences. After the game we took a team photo with the Hofheim Huskies and then shared a barbecue with them. It's getting late here so we are headed off to bed. We have an early morning tomorrow. Love from Germany
Saturday, August 9
The group is travelling in three nine-passenger vans. It's a good thing I limited the girls to one bag or we would have had to leave about eight of them at the airport based on how much they tried to squeeze into the luggage. I thought we were going for 13 days....not months!!
We spent the afternoon sightseeing in Hofheim. The city and surrounding areas population is about 40,000. I immediately found my favorite bakery that I remembered from previous trips. Delicious! The players exchanged money, shopped, and ate food from the fruit stands, bakeries, and stores. Around 4 p.m., we met at the local schools where our host families were picking us up. Most of the families took two or three players, but one brave family took six! My family is staying with the Bailleys. They have two daughters. Sarah is 7 and Hannah is 4. My daughters are 6 and 8. The Bailley girls do not speak English and the Morehouse girls cannot speak German. It was NO PROBLEM!! Now they all speak a little of the other language and are learning more every minute! Fortunately, I took German at Hope College from Professor DeHaan and am doing very well in my vocabulary recall! Must have been all that studying!
Last night the Bailleys hosted a barbecue for some of the families. Other families had dinner at their homes or went out for a meal.
Today is Saturday. Weather is beautiful! 70 and sunny. Our family enjoyed a breakfast of hard rolls, cheese, meat, jams, peanut butter, and this wonderful spread called Nutella. It's chocolate for breakfast! My daughters are threatening to move permanently to Germany if this is an everyday breakfast staple!
We practice at 1 p.m. and play a game at 6 p.m. vs Hofheim. The families will have a cookout in the area just outside the gym before the game.