Soccer (World Football), Baseball, jogging, walking; Fairground Park has a lot to offer. Every weekend through the summer, the park is busy with one league or another. Every evening, there are people walking and jogging the perimeter trail.
Equipment: Ball fields, restrooms, parking, paved track.
- Hiking and Walking
Mink Lake Golf Course
I don't golf, but several of my friends do. They have all done Mink Lake. I've not found one yet who thinks it's the best in the area. Mostly I hear about the hills. Mink Lake (the lake) is a glacial pothole., which means that a building size chunk of ice (a 3-5 story tall building) was left behind by the glaciers, buried in the till (soil) left by the glacier. When it melted, a bowl formed and a lake was left in the bottom. So the course is around this lake, on the sides of some steep hills.
It's challenging as a player and just walking the course.
Equipment: Mink Lake Course
9 hole regulation length course
Public golf course
$9 green fees* on weekends
$8 green fees* on weekdays
Valparaiso Crusader Basketball
In a town without much to do at night besides eat, Valparaiso is lucky to have a good college men's basketball team - the Valparaiso University Crusaders. Home games are played from late November to the first week of March. There are about 15 home games every season. Check the schedule on the website below.
The team has been a perennial powerhouse in its conference, the Mid-Continent, for about 10 years, and has some NCAA Tournament appearances and a memorable Sweet 16 appearance in 1998 that captured the whole nation with Bryce Drew's improbable 3-point buzzer-beater - one of the most famous shots in NCAA Tournament history.
The games are played at the 5,100 seat ARC on the campus of VU. The fans are passionate and loud. It is a great atmosphere for basketball. Games are usually 3/4 or more full, and tickets are a good value at $12 for chairback, $10 for bleachers, and $8 for general admission. Subtract another $2 from those prices for seniors/children. Very rarely, there are games against nationally recognized opponents, such as Cincinnati or Purdue. Those games will cost more.
VU has traditionally had many international players on its roster, so chances are you will see some players who have played for their national teams in international competitions. Past and present players have come from Croatia, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Angola, Mali, Senegal, Czech Republic, and more.
Equipment: Valpo is coached by Homer Drew, who is one of the most respected coaches in the nation. He has been at VU for 15 years and is the most successful coach in school history. Drew is credited with building the program into what it is now. He returned in 2003 after a brief retirement.
Valparaiso's most famous player is Bryce Drew, Homer's son. He grew up in Valparaiso and chose VU over hundreds of other schools recruiting him. As mentioned previously, he brought Valpo national attention with his game-winning 3 pointer in the 1998 NCAA Tourney. He is the only Valpo player ever to play in the NBA, being drafted by the Houston Rockets after his senior season. He has also played for the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets.
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