All-American on track for points, rebounds records for Golden Eagles
When Kyle Steigenga’s basketball career is over, legend will say he’s one of the best to ever play for the Cornerstone Golden Eagles. If he stays on his current pace, he’ll wear both the career scoring and rebounding crowns.
When the Golden Eagles hosted Concordia Saturday afternoon at Mol Arena, Steigenga finished the afternoon with 19 points and 7 rebounds in the 76-67 win. Steigenga moved his career totals to 2,739 points and 1,099 rebounds.
He wants to help the team succeed in any way possible – coach Kim Elders
1: Jim Eppink
2: Kyle Steigenga
8: Sam Vander Sluis
After entering his senior season with 2,496 points scored, the 3-time (likely 4-time) NAIA D-2 1st Team All-American has tallied another 443 this year. He climbed over Scott O’Day’s 2,725 into 3rd pace overall on Saturday. His next conquest will be Jim Eppink’s 2,748 (Eppink played when the school was known as Grand Rapids Baptist College. He also holds the career rebounds record.). Tops on the scoring charts is Jared Crandall and his 2,772 points. Averaging 21.1 points per game this season and only trailing by 33 total points, Steigenga has a chance to break the record when the travel to Indiana Tech on Saturday (Jan. 20, 2018). It’s more likely he breaks the points record at home against Lourdes the following Wednesday (Jan. 24, 2018).
When it comes to rebounds, Steigenga has worked hard on both ends of the floor his whole career around the basket. He entered this season with 903 rebounds over his first three seasons, good enough for 8th place overall and only 328 behind Eppink’s record of 1,231. Having grabbed 291, 241 and 371 in his first three years, respectively, Steigenga has to have another great year on the boards. If he matches last year’s total of 371, he’ll break the record by 33.
Last year, though, Steigenga had the advantage of playing in 38 games with Cornerstone winning the WHAC post-season tournament and making it all the way to the Championship game.
The Golden Eagles are on the same track this season and championships, not records, are on the mind of coach Kim Elders. When asked about Steigenga’s chase, coach told us, “It is not something we have really talked about or focused on but we understand that its there. Our program has had many great teams and with that comes some talented individuals who have put up big numbers. Kyle is so humble is his daily approach not for this record but for our team. He wants to help the team succeed in any way possible and has become a solid leader and especially a vocal leader this season”.
Athletic Director Aaron Sagraves echoes coach Elders’ description of Steigenga’s off-court persona, “The last four years have been awesome to be around Kyle and what he stands for. His leadership on and off the court and the impact he has on our community here at Cornerstone is not measured by any wins or losses or championships but by the relationships he has put before any accolades he has gotten personally. I am really looking forward to the next few weeks to be able to get the chance to promote not only a great basketball player but an even better person.”
Figuring out the math:
Rebounds – Steigenga totals by year
2014-15: 291 Current Total: 1,099
2015-16: 241 Current Avg: 9.1 rpg
2016-17: 371 Games Remaining: 9
2017-18: 196 (so far) Estimated Total (End of Reg. Season): 1,181
Possible WHAC Tourney games (3), NAIA Tourney games (5): Add estimated 73