State hoops: Hope star a 3-time national player of the year — this year alone

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Kenedy Schoonveld got engaged last summer.

She might want to put a trophy case on the wedding registry.

Schoonveld, a fifth-year senior guard for recently crowed national-champion Hope College, was named Thursday as the winner of the Jostens Trophy, which goes to the most outstanding player in Division.

Hope's Kenedy Schoonveld won three player-of-the-year awards this season.

That gives Schoonveld the Triple Crown of player-of-the-year awards this season. She also was named player of the year by and by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

In her four-year career, Schoonveld, a Zeeland native and Holland Christian alum, led her team to a 130-8 record, starting all 138 of those games. Hope was undefeated in 2019-20 and 2020-21, but didn't get to compete for a national title because of COVID-19. Hope was 32-1 this season, beating Wisconsin-Whitewater, 71-58, on Saturday in Pittsburgh to win the elusive Division III championship.

She averaged 11.1 points this season, and was praised for her leadership. She also averaged 2.1 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals this season. For her career, Schoonveld had 1,479 points, second in program. She was a five-time first-team MIAA selection, and three times the MVP.

Coach Brian Morehouse, Hope's coach since 1996, calls Schoonveld the best player he's ever coached — and he wasn't always sure he'd be able to get her to Hope, even though the Morehouse and Schoonveld families go back decades.

"Kenedy is a super-unique kid, because she did not get caught up in the AAU rat race," Morehouse said. "She just didn't believe in it, she'd rather work on her own skill development. She looked at some Division IIs, and had offers. If she would've played AAU, she would've had Division I offers. All people do is recruit AAU nowadays. We knew how good she was.

"Not only was she good, but she had the work ethic, that she was going to become even better."

Schoonveld was worried about the optics of coming to Hope. Her dad, Tim, is the athletic director, and she didn't want the perceptions that she didn't earn her spot. That's why she wanted to attend college farther away from home. But she committed to Hope her senior year, while demanding that she not start right away.

Morehouse told her she wouldn't start, but recently acknowledged with a laugh, "That was a lie."

After that freshman year, Schoonveld told Morehouse that they would get to the Final Four. Hope not only got there this year, but finally won its third national championship, and first since 2006.

Schoonveld will next attend Baylor for her master's in social work — a future she committed to following a summer spent working at an orphanage in Africa. It goes hand-in-hand with the Jostens Trophy, which considers off-the-court impact, or "Service Above Self," in considering winners.

"She's one of the most incredible human beings," Morehouse said.

Slam dunks

►Sometimes, the transfer portal isn't all it's cracked up to be. A trio of former Oakland players — Novi's Tray Maddox Jr. (Cal State Fullerton), Daniel Oladapo (Pittsburgh) and Detroit's Rashad Williams (Saint Louis) — have re-entered the portal this week.

►Still no definitive word from Detroit Mercy star guard Antoine Davis on his future plans. He finished his four years as the Titans' all-time leading scorer and has some form of professional playing future, but can return for a fifth COVID year if he wants.

►Something to keep an eye on. Detroit Mercy coach Mike Davis and Oakland coach Greg Kampe both are entering the final year of their current contracts. There have been known extension talks.

►The WNBA Draft is April 11 in New York City, and our state could have two first-rounders — certainly, Michigan's Naz Hillmon, and possibly Michigan State's Nia Clouden.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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