Dordt College News

Senior hoops manager leaves big shoes to fill

June 23, 2014

The whistle blew as players fell to the floor and the game came to halt.

As Dordt Men’s Basketball Manager Bryce Schelhaas walked onto the floor, the crowd roared, applauding him as he used his foot to maneuver a towel that soaked up the sweat on the court.

Schelhaas doesn’t ask for the spotlight, but the third-year varsity manager sometimes gets it anyway.

Rarely does a manager develop the kind of reputation Schelhaas has earned. It could be partly that Dordt’s fans were excitable after the team’s success this season. But it’s more likely that Schelhaas is genuinely good at what he does.

“Bryce has a servant’s heart,” said Head Coach Ross Douma. “He’ll continue to serve the rest of his life because that’s who he is.”

Schelhaas was a basketball manager in high school before being recruited to manage at Dordt. He worked with the junior varsity squad to learn the ropes and settled in quickly.
Schelhaas became part of the team. He roomed with Kyle Lindbergh and Austin Katje, members of Schelhaas’ 2014 graduating class and thousand-point scorers in their respective Dordt careers. Lindbergh was drawn to Schelhaas’ humble attitude.

“Bryce never complained,” said Lindbergh. “His humility is something that everyone wants to imitate.”

Schelhaas worked every step of the way with Coach Douma, who the senior considers something of a father figure.
“I respect him, and I think he’d say the same,” Schelhaas continued.

It’s easy to understand why Douma holds the manager in high regard: Virtually everything Schelhaas does for the team takes pressure off the coaching staff, from floor preparation, to setting out equipment, to laundry, to uniform care.

“He covers everything. His title is manager, but it would be more apt to say that he’s program assistant,” said Douma.

On a typical practice day, Schelhaas begins preparing up to an hour before practice begins. He sets out the practice jerseys for the players, then gets the court ready. He’ll bring out the basketballs from the equipment closet, set up the scoreboard clock, and place props such as clones or dummies the coaches need for practice.

After practice, Schelhaas collects the uniforms and gets them washed and ready for the next day.

“He’s the first to the gym and the last to leave without ever—okay, sometimes—getting to shoot a shot during practice,” Lindbergh said.

Schelhaas was honored alongside Lindbergh and Katje at the Defenders’ Senior Day celebration on February 22. And on February 26, Schelhaas, a four-year member of Dordt’s choir, opened the Defenders’ quarterfinal playoff game by belting the National Anthem.

Schelhaas, who’s been a part of several very successful teams, has become greatly invested in this year’s squad.

“If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be this team,” said Schelhaas. “Seeing how all the freshmen came together… . Going into this year, we were a little nervous.”

Schelhaas leaves huge shoes to fill.

“He is a great example of how to live your life selflessly for others,” said Douma. “People really become attracted to him because of who he is and what he does. We’re going to miss him.”

Sam Ekstrom (’14)

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