Hundreds of Holland senior citizens support Hope Women's basketball

Residents from Freedom Village Senior Living Community
Posted at 11:16 PM, Mar 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-13 23:16:24-04

HOLLAND, Mich. — The Hope College athletics have some of the most loyal fans in the country. But there’s a special group of seasoned supporters that the Women’s basketball knows will be in the stand for every home game.

“You see the same people all the time. And there’s not 5 or 10. There’s maybe 200,” said Senior guard Sydney Muller.

Residents of Freedom Village Senior Living Community. Including Larry Custer, and his wife Ruth.

“We’ve always gone to Hope basketball. All three of our kids 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 it’s at,” said Larry Custer.

The Custer's have listed in west Michigan for over 40 years and have had season tickets to Hope men’s and women’s basketball for six. Along with 100 or so other residents from Freedom Village.

“One of the reasons why we came here was that we like the buses because they’ll take you to different places. And they provide a bus for us for all the home games,” said Custer.

Just half a mile from the DeVos Field house, Larry and Ruth ride the bus. Some friends walk or drive themselves, but they all come to support the Dutch.

“You get up at halftime and walk around. You always see people that you know. There’s a lot of people you know, like my age that are at the ball games and you definitely see plenty of people you know. And you talk and enjoy that. But I really enjoy the ball games because Hope always has a competitive team,” said Custer.

The sportsmanship from the Custer's and the other Freedom Village residents does not go unnoticed by the players and coaches on the court.

“My people, I love them! They are so loyal and they’re knowledgeable. They love the women on this team. They’re consistent. They show up and they are everything you would want in a fan base," said Head women's basketball coach Brian Morehouse.

“Makes you feel like a million dollars. I mean, they just come and they praise you. Not only for being good at basketball but for your program. They love watching out bench and how energetic they are. Whether it’s dancing around or cheering for each other. We love each other a lot and it’s fun when other people can see how much we love each other,” said Muller.

Home games for the Dutch might be done for the year, but their season isn’t. They’ll play Trine in the final four this Thursday night in Pittsburgh.