Rob Zaagman, Rebecca Bosserd, Coach Brian Morehouse
Player's Sacrifice for Team
A Hope College basketball player's selfless act is having an effect
far beyond her team's recent national championship season.
It's led to the creation of a scholarship that will help
other students in perpetuity.
When the Hope women's basketball team made it to the playoffs
this past spring, NCAA regulations required that only 15 players
could suit up for the competition. Hope's MIAA championship squad
had 16 members. Rather than make it necessary for Coach Brian Morehouse
to choose or perhaps for one of her teammates to sit out the remaining
games, junior guard Becky Bosserd of Sparta, MIch., stepped forward
and volunteered to spend the rest of the season in her street
The gracious gesture earned the admiration of her coach, her
team mates and also Hope's loyal fans. One of those fans, community
member Rob Zaagman, has decided to celebrate it by establishing
an endowed scholarship at the college in her name. The "Rebecca
Bosserd Scholarship Fund," available starting with the new
school year, is intended for any student with financial need who,
in keeping with Bosserd's example, has shown commitment to servant-leadership
"I really feel that what she did was very significant, but
really it goes much deeper than that," said Zaagman, who was
among the Hope fans who made the trip to Springfield, Mass., for
the Final Four in March. "It's more a recognition of character
than one event."
"I think this is just one way of saying 'Thank you, Becky,
for doing something tremendous for other people,'" he said. "What
she did is never going to be forgotten."
Morehouse agrees that Bosserd's sacrifice reflects a remarkable
consideration of others.
"It's probably the most unselfish act I've ever been a part
of in my 10 years as a head coach, and I think it's a great reflection
on both Becky and her parents as far as how she was raised," he
said. "She exemplifies everything that we want in our players.
She is selfless. She puts the team first in everything she does."
"I couldn't have more respect for a person than what I have
for Becky and what she did," he said.
Even though she had been on the sidelines during most of the
tournament run, she was the coaches' choice to accept the national
"When we went out to get our championship trophy, Becky
was the first person that we sent out there and then our four captains
followed behind her because we felt what she had done was really
what our team was all about," he said.
Bosserd notes that she didn't struggle with her decision to miss
the NCAA games.
"That way no one else would have to sit out," she said. "I
did it and I never looked back."
Bosserd is a 2003 graduate of Lowell High School and the daughter
of James and Jane Bosserd of Sparta. A biology major, she is interested
in a career that involves working with animals, possibly specializing
in fisheries in wildlife. She worked at the OutdoorDiscoveryCenter
south of Holland this summer.
Zaagman, who works in quality assurance at Haworth Inc., had
never even met Bosserd prior to establishing the scholarship, other
than briefly along with other members of the team during the college's
championship celebration back in Holland in April. As a result,
she never saw the recognition coming. "I was pretty surprised," she
said, when she learned about it earlier this summer.
For Zaagman, Bosserd's team-first sacrifice focused his growing
interest in supporting Hope students in some way. Since moving
to Holland in 1992, he had come first to appreciate the campus
and the college's positive presence on downtown during walks through
the neighborhood, and then the students that he met as he volunteered
in the community, and then the college itself as he learned more
about Hope's program.
"Endowing a scholarship is something that I had in the back
of my mind for a period of time now," he said. "As time
went on, I felt that I wanted to try to help students down the
road have an opportunity to have an education at Hope."
"I definitely wouldn't do something like this if I didn't
think that the college had more than earned it," he said. "So
for me, this is a tremendous investment also."
more about scholarships at Hope
Learn more about the 2006 Women's Basketball National Championship