With every basket scored or rebound corralled by Grand Haven senior forward Ty VanWieren this season on the Bucs’ varsity basketball team, his family legacy in the sport shines even brighter.
It especially radiates at Hope College, where the VanWieren name is synonymous with excellence on the basketball court.
VanWieren’s grandfather, Clare, played at Hope from 1962 to 1966, and amassed 1,524 points during his stellar career. It’s a mark that ranks him 10th on the program’s career scoring list.
“I knew he was a really good player, but I never knew how good until I looked at their record book one time and saw his name,” Ty said.
Clare’s older brother, Glenn — Ty’s great uncle — was just as outstanding on the basketball court. He poured in 1,139 during his career from 1960-1964, then went on to an illustrious coaching career at the school, compiling 660 victories (the fourth most in Division 3 history) during his 33-year reign.
“It’s kind of funny; my dad never played basketball and my mom wasn’t athletic. It just worked out that way for both my brother and I,” Clare said. “I guess it was just God’s plan.”
The lineage of athletic success doesn’t stop there. Clare’s son, Chris — Ty’s father — also followed suit by playing sports at Hope, but he starred on the soccer field. Chris met his future wife at Hope, the former Carolyn Rink, who, not surprisingly, played basketball at the school. Not to be outdone, Carolyn’s father, Bill Rink, was an outstanding pitcher at Hope, as he compiled a 20-9 record during his career from 1952-55 and remains the program’s career leader in strikeouts with 251. He is one of just five players in Hope history to sign with a Major League team (the Philadelphia Phillies).
Ty VanWieren undoubtedly has a lot to live up to, but he’s beginning to fill up his chapter of athletics in the family tree.
As Grand Haven (3-2 overall) prepares to battle Westland John Glenn in the Meijer Hall of Fame basketball event at Reeths-Puffer tonight, the 6-foot-4 VanWieren has emerged as a consistent double-double threat for the Bucs, and gives the squad a legitimate chance to compete for an O-K Red Conference title and a third-straight district championship.
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