Tom Dykstra is a 1966 graduate of Grand Rapids Central Christian. Tom excelled in basketball and tennis in high school and was the recipient of the 1966 ER Post Award, an honor given to the top athlete in the school.
In his three years on the tennis court, Tom played #2, #3 and #4 singles during the regular season. Tom won every one of his matches in the City League. According to Hall of Fame Coach Ken Zandee, those three teams were considered some of the overall strongest tennis teams in school history. His junior year Tom won the Regional Doubles Championship, and he was the State Quarterfinal Doubles Champion his senior year.
Tom was on the 1964 Junior Varsity Basketball City Championship Team. His junior and senior years he played on the varsity team led by Coach Ken Zandee. Tom played in an era where the City League produced many outstanding basketball players who went on to play at higher levels. He was always considered a great scorer, a hard worker, and an inspiration to both teammates and opponents. Tom’s play on the varsity basketball team led to many honors and awards. As a senior, he was named captain and MVP. He earned All-City honors and was chosen to the WOOD TV All-Area Team. He is included in the Top 50 of All-Time City League players and was also a part of the GRCHS 50thAnniversary Team.
While earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business at Wheaton College,Tom continued playing both basketball and tennis. Although basketball was his primary focus, Tom played tennis for two years at #1 singles. But the basketball court was where he excelled. Tom’s name is still high on numerous Wheaton basketball records including most points in a single season, scoring average per game for a season, most points scored in a game, total career points, total career rebounds, and career scoring average. His PPG record (27.3) stood for 48 years and was just broken in 2018. Tom received All-State College Division honors during his sophomore and junior seasons and was an All-CCIW selection his final two seasons. He earned All-American Honorable Mention recognition in 1969, and served as captain, was named MVP, and was honored as the Wheaton Athlete of the Year in 1970. In 1985, Tom was inducted into the Wheaton Hall of Fame. After graduation, Tom was drafted by the NBA’s Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards). Unfortunately, he broke his ankle during pre-season tryouts. Looking back, Tom sees that experience as one of the many ways God has graciously directed the course of his life.
After his college days, Tom enjoyed playing tennis and golf with many close friends. He also played on several recreation league basketball teams and on the Top Court in Gus Macker Tournaments with many outstanding basketball contemporaries.
After a stroke in 2005, Tom retired as Vice President of Light Metals Corporation. Tom and his wife Debbie live in Byron Center and have three children; Debbie Stowell, Rebecca Nadelhoffer and Rob Dykstra, who are all great athletes, too. Now Tom enjoys watching his nine grandchildren as they begin to play various sports. He is their biggest fan! Tom hopes they have as many great experiences in sports as he had, and like him, are able to develop relationships with teammates, coaches and opponents that last a lifetime.
Tom’s Favorite Scripture: Micah 6:8
What does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.