A pair of former Calvin Knights will be inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame this fall. Mike "Mickey" Phelps and Steve Honderd have both been elected for enshrinement. Phelps and Honderd are also both graduates of Grand Rapids Christian High School with Phelps graduating from the then Grand Rapids Central Christian High School. They will join Mark Veenstra as Calvin men's basketball alumni in the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame.
Also slated for induction this fall will be Joan Boand, Grand Valley State University coaching pioneer, Jack Doles, 24 Hour News 8 sports director, Margo Jonker, Central Michigan University softball coach and Joe Warren, East Kentwood's world champion in wrestling and MMA.
The group will be honored in ceremonies this fall at Van Andel Arena, Mark Kimball, president of the GRSHOF, announced today. A date for the induction ceremony and information on ticket sales will be announced in the coming weeks.
"It's an incredible class that demonstrates achievement as athletes and coaches, but also recognizes impact and leadership in our community," Kimball said. "Each year, I think we can't possibly match the last group of inductees but it always seems we do. I'm in awe of their accomplishments and excited for the chance to honor them at our induction ceremonies."
This past February, Phelps and Honderd were both selected to Calvin's "All-Time Starting Five" as part of the festivities celebrating the 200th Calvin-Hope men's basketball game.
Below are biographical sketches on Phelps and Honderd that ran in the commemorative game program:
MIKE "MICKEY" PHELPS (1966-1970)
Long before the three-point shot was instituted, Calvin College point guard Mike Phelps was a lethal long-range bomber. The quick and crafty guard accumulated 1,365 points over his three-year varsity career with many coming from beyond 20 feet.
"There was no mid-range game for me," laughed Phelps who is known to most as Mickey. "It was either going up from deep or it was a layup." As a sophomore in 1968, Phelps dropped in 53 points in a non-conference win over Concordia College of Illinois. At the time, the scoring output was a Calvin single-game record and currently stands as the third-highest single-game total in Calvin men's basketball history. In February of that year, Phelps outdueled Hope sensation Floyd Brady at Calvin's Knollcrest Fieldhouse with Phelps pumping in 35 and Brady 30. The scoring surge by Phelps helped pace the Knights to a 94-79 victory over a Flying Dutchmen team that went on to win the MIAA outright title. "Floyd Brady was such an amazing player and a tremendous ambassador for Hope," said Phelps. "I think that was the only time anyone outscored him that year. It was a game that I'll never forget."
Phelps will also never forget the intensity of the rivalry. "The intensity was always amazing," he commented. "It was always a full house and a game you loved to play in."
Phelps later led the Calvin men's basketball team to MIAA outright titles in 1969 and 1970, receiving the MIAA's Most Valuable Player award as a senior. Also a standout shortstop on the baseball diamond, he received MIAA Most Valuable Player honors in that sport in 1970, becoming the only player in league history to receive MIAA MVP honors in both basketball and baseball.
After graduating from Calvin, Phelps moved into a distinguished teaching and coaching career that spanned 38 years. He spent the first 17 at East Kentwood High School and the final 21 at Holland Christian High School where he also served for 17 years as the school's athletics director. Phelps was later inducted into both the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) and Michigan High School Coaches Association's (MHSCA) Halls of Fame.
Now retired, he winters in Florida with his wife Sharon and then splits time between his summer residence in Onekama on Portage Lake and his longtime hometown of Holland where his children Kyle, April, and Karissa reside along with the nine Phelps grandchildren. A strong recreational tennis player for years, Phelps has now turned his attention to pickleball. "It's a great sport. A lot fun. It's a good way to keep meeting people and staying active."
STEVE HONDERD (1989-1993)
Steve Honderd is the all-time leading scorer in Calvin men's basketball history with 2,469 points. He also holds the Calvin and MIAA single-game scoring record with 61 points in a 1993 overtime win over Kalamazoo that clinched a conference regular season crown for the Knights. A two-time Division III All-American, Honderd was named the Division III National Player of the Year as a senior in 1993. In 2000, he was named the Player of the Decade of the 1990s by the publication DIII News. He holds the Calvin career record for field goal percentage (.628) and is in Calvin career blocked shots (187) and is third in career rebounds (876).
A four-time first team All-MIAA selection, he was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Player in 1992 and 1993 and helped lead Calvin to MIAA regular season titles in 1990, 1992, and 1993. As a freshman in 1990, he helped Calvin reach its first NCAA III Tournament Semifinals and then led the Knights to a national title in 1992 – the first team title in Calvin athletics history. In addition, he also led Calvin to national quarterfinal berths in 1991 and 1993.
As a player, the 6-7 Honderd began his career primarily in the post but as his career progressed, he moved part of his offensive game outside, often launching shots from beyond the three-point arc. In his 61-point game against Kalamazoo, he was 4-of-6 from three-point range.
When reflecting on the 12 Calvin-Hope games he participated in as a player, Honderd remembers the intensity and games going to the wire. "The intensity, the crowd noise and the energy were always up a notch whenever we played Hope," said Honderd. "I can still visualize many of the games. I remember my first game (January, 1990) against Hope. We won the game by a point at the Civic Center. There was a layup by Hope that went in after time had expired but no one could hear the final buzzer because the crowd noise was so loud."
After graduating from Calvin, he played four years of professional basketball in Europe – one year in Spain and three in France. While in France, he met a familiar face in former Hope All-American center Wade Gugino as the two played for opposing professional teams in the same division. During that time, the two struck up a friendship that continues through today. "That's one of the unique things about the Calvin-Hope rivalry," said Honderd. "The players share many of the same values and beliefs. When you're overseas out on your own, it's nice to have a familiar face who you can relate to and that was the case with Wade and I."
Honderd and his wife Shelly returned to the United States after four years away to live in Holland, where he spent 17 years as a manager for Johnson Controls International. From 2013-to-2016, his family moved back to Europe as he accepted a position with JCI in France. He currently works as a financial manager for J.R. Automation in Holland. Honderd and his wife Shelly reside in Holland and are parents of sons Luke, Levi, and Malachi.