GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan -- Calvin College has announced the 2015 recipients of its highest athletic honors: the Beré Memorial Award and the Kay Tiemersma Athletic Award.
The Beré Memorial Award has been presented annually by Calvin since 1951. The Beré honors the top senior male student-athlete, based on athletic ability, scholastic rank, character and leadership, and is selected by the school's male coaches and the members of the Athletics Committee. It is given in memory of Joe Beré, a Calvin student who was killed in a 1949 auto accident on his way to watch a Calvin basketball game. The winner is selected by the coaches of the school's men's sports and an Athletics Committee made up of students and non-physical education department faculty members.
This is the 41st year that Calvin has given the Tiemersma award--presented annually to the top senior female student-athlete. The award honors Kay Tiemersma, the first woman physical education teacher in the member schools of the Christian Schools International organization, and a pioneer in women's sports. Its presentation is based on athletic ability, scholastic standing, and character and leadership. The winner is selected by the coaches of the school's women's sports and an Athletics Committee made up of students and non-physical education department faculty members.
Jordan Brink has been a four-year member of the Calvin men's varsity basketball team. As a senior this winter, he captained a Calvin men's basketball team that reached the NCAA III Tournament and claimed MIAA regular season and MIAA Tournament titles. He was named to the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year and was later named the MIAA's Most Valuable Player.
In addition, he was named to the D3hoops.com Great Lakes All-Region first team and to the NABC Division III All-District First Team. He was later named to Division III All-America teams selected by the NABC, D3hoops.com and Division III News. As a sophomore and junior, he was part of Calvin teams that captured MIAA Tournament titles and also reached the NCAA III Tournament Round of 16. As a sophomore, he was also part of a Calvin team that captured the MIAA regular season crown.
Brink was a six-time MIAA Player of the Week during his career including a three-time selection as a senior. During the 2014-15 season, he was named to the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week once. At the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, he was invited to participate in the NABC Division III Reese's All-Star Game in Salem, Virginia. At the game, he scored 15 points.
A graduate of Illiana Christian High School, Brink concluded his career ranked eighth on the Calvin men's basketball career scoring list (1,497 points), fifth in career three-point field goals (208) and fourth in career assists (282). In addition, he concluded his career as Calvin's all-time leader in free throw percentage, converting 92.5 percent of his charity tosses.
In addition to serving as a two-time captain with the Calvin men's basketball team, Brink was also a member of Calvin's Student-Athlete-Advisory-Council (SAAC). He was also a part of the Calvin student Game Day organization that promoted various Calvin athletics events on and off campus.
Brink will graduate from Calvin this Saturday with a double major of business marketing and sports management. A regular member of the Calvin Dean's List and a two-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, Brink was named a second team Capital One Academic All-American this winter.
He recently concluded an internship with the Grand Rapids Drive – the D League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons. Brink will begin an internship with the Pistons this week, assisting the NBA organization with preparation for the upcoming NBA draft. Brink is also considering graduate school next fall.
Breanna Verkaik is a native of Holland and is a graduate of Holland Christian High School. A four-year member of the Calvin women's basketball and women's track and field teams, Verkaik
During her Calvin career, she was a part of seven MIAA championship teams – four in track and field and three in women's basketball. During her four-year career with the women's basketball team, she helped the Knights produce an overall won-loss record of 100-15, claim two MIAA Tournament titles, three NCAA III Tournament berths and two trips to the quarterfinals of the NCAA III Tournament.
This past winter, she helped the Calvin women's basketball team finish 30-1 as the Knights established a school record for victories in a season. She led Calvin to a perfect 16-0 MIAA regular season and was named the MIAA's Most Valuable Player. She was also named to the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year.
She was then named to the D3hoops.com Great Lakes All-Region first team after receiving D3hoops.com Great Lakes All-Region third team honors the year before. She was later named a Division III All-American by D3hoops.com and Women's Division III News. She also received Division III Honorable Mention All-America honors from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. During the 2014-15 season, she averaged 13.8 points and 5.2 rebounds a game. She also finished as the 2014-15 NCAA III statistical leader in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 48.1 percent of her three-point attempts.
She finished her Calvin basketball career with 1,067 points, placing her 13th on the Calvin career scoring list.
As a member of the Calvin women's track and field team, she played an integral role on four consecutive MIAA championship teams. In 2014, she was the MIAA champion in the 400 meter hurdles and earned a spot on the All-MIAA women's track and field team. She was the MIAA runner-up in the 400 meter hurdles this spring.
A two-year team captain, Verkaik has found time to volunteer with Special Olympics as a Calvin student.
Verkaik will graduate from Calvin this Saturday with a degree in nursing. A regular member of the Calvin Dean's List, she has also been a three-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. Earlier this spring, she was named to the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) Academic All-State team for the second consecutive year. She plans to pursue a career in nursing after graduation.
She is the second member of her family to be named the recipient of the Kay Tiemersma Award as older sister Carissa Verkaik received the award in 2013.
Breanna Verkaik is the daughter of Mike and Dawn Verkaik of Holland, Michigan.