The Hope College basketball program continued to top all Division III teams in attendance during the 2012-13 season, according to the National College Athletic Association (NCAA).
It marks the fifth year in a row that both the men's and women's basketball programs have been ranked No. 1. No Division III member has accomplished that fete.
It is the 11th consecutive season that the Hope men have been the leader, while for the women it is the fifth season in a row.
Said Hope men’s basketball coach Matt Neil, “We are so blessed to be in a community where a reciprocal effect is realized. The college benefits from the community support and the community benefits from the college support. Our fans are the best in the nation and enjoy supporting our young men and women, realizing that the athletic experience at Hope is a very integral aspect of the entire college education. We are humbled to have fans who enjoy watching our teams in this way. We thank each and every person who makes our athletic events a priority, and encourage them to "keep it up" during the upcoming school year.”
Said Hope women’s basketball coach Brian Morehouse, “As a program we are so grateful to the community, faculty, staff, and students for their support of the women's basketball program! Their love for Hope basketball is shown with both teams leading the nation in attendance. Our goal will be to continue to grow the game of women's basketball at Hope by playing in a way that fans continue to want to support by coming out to the DeVos Fieldhouse which is an amazing place to watch a game. No one has better fans in the nation!”
For the men, the average was 2,748 fans fans per game while for the women the average was 1,126. Rival Calvin ranked second among men's teams with an average of 1,949 fans while Howard Payne, Texas followed at 863. Rival Calvin averaged 717 fans among women's teams.
This is the 15th time in school history that Hope has been the men's basketball attendance leader. The Flying Dutchmen posted an 11-2 home floor record. In eight seasons at DeVos Fieldhouse, Hope has posted a 113-12 record.
Other years when Hope led the nation in men's attendance were 1984, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The average home attendance for the 407 Division III men's teams in 2012-13 was 402 fans.
The average home game attendance among all 432 Division III women's basketball programs in 2012-13 was 233 fans. Hope was the only team to average more than 1,000 fans per home date.
It is the sixth time since moving to DeVos Fieldhouse that Hope has been the D-III leader in women's basketball attendance. The average in other years when Hope was the national leader were: 2005-06, 1,329; 2008-09, 1,269; 2009-10, 1,138; 2010-11, 1,546; 2011-12, 1,343.
The Flying Dutch, who posted an overall 29-2 record, were 17-0 on their home court. The annual home rivalry game with Calvin attracted the largest crowd (3,423).
Hope's seven-season record at DeVos Fieldhouse is 125-3. That includes a 77-game home floor win streak. In 17 seasons under coach Morehouse, the Flying Dutch are 238-22 (.915) on their home floor.
The women's teams of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) ranked fourth among Division III conferences in average home attendance at 407. The women's leader was the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Association at 471 fans per game. The men's teams of the MIAA topped all Division III conference with an average of 923.