NETHERLANDS, Michigan. – Hope College is one of the most loyal fans in the country. But there is a special group of experienced fans about whom women’s basketball knows will be on the podium in every home game.
“You see the same people all the time. And not 5 and not 10. Maybe 200, ”said senior guard Sydney Mueller.
The community of elderly residents of the village of Svaboda. Including Larry Custer and his wife Ruth.
“We always went to Hope Basketball. All three of our children went to Hope. I went to Western, Michigan, and my wife graduated from Hope, but when you’re in Holland, you go to Hope because that’s where he is, ”said Larry Custer.
The Custer family has been operating in Western Michigan for over 40 years and has had season tickets to the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Hope for six years. Together with about 100 other residents of the village of Freedom.
“One of the reasons we came here was that we like buses because they will take you to different places. And they give us a bus for all the home games, ”Custer said.
Just half a mile from the house DeVos Field Larry and Ruth are riding the bus. Some friends walk or ride themselves, but they all come to support the Dutch.
“You get up during the break and go. You always see people you know. There are a lot of people you know, like my age, who are involved in ball games, and you definitely see a lot of people you know. And you talk and enjoy it. But I really like playing with the ball, because Nadezhda is always a competitive team, ”Custer said.
The sporting skills of the caster and other Freedom Village residents do not go unnoticed by the players and coaches on the field.
“My people, I love them! They are so loyal and knowledgeable. They love the women on this team. They are consistent. They are, and that’s all you want from the fans, ”said women’s basketball head coach Brian Morehouse.
“It makes you feel like a million dollars. I mean, they just come and praise you. Not only for good basketball games, but also for your program. They love to watch the bench and how energetic they are. Whether it’s dancing or cheering for each other. We love each other very much, and it’s fun when other people see how much we love each other, ”Mueller said.
Home games for the Dutch can be made throughout the year, but their season is not. They will play Trine in the final four this Thursday in Pittsburgh.