In this week’s spotlight: sisters Jasmijn and Esmee with the Hofstra University in New York! In addition to hockey-twins Peppe & Pleun, we were allowed to add these hockey twins to our portfolio of athletes this year as well: and that is amazing! Jasmijn and Esmee Verdoes are joining the Hofstra University hockey team.

Esmee and Jasmijn exchanged Noordwijk this year to study and play hockey together at Hofstra University in Long Island, New York! Before that, the girls already had hockey success in the Netherlands: they promoted to a higher class with their team in 2018 and 2019. When they both received their high school diplomas at Leeuwenhorst College, nothing could stop them anymore: Jasmijn and Esmee are ready to go!

Despite corona, the school year in the USA has been going well so far, we asked Jasmijn and Esmee what the best thing is about Hofstra University and this enthusiastic answer came back to us:

“The best thing about Hofstra University is the campus, the beautiful buildings and trees make it so beautiful! In addition, the people are very helpful, they help us with everything we need. Also the team helped us with things for school and our room: this immediately made us feel at home and welcome. And we also have the best coaches! ”

Jasmijn and Esmee Verdoes – Slamstox-athletes

Hofstra University therefore seems a very good match with our Slamstox twins. In this article we will tell you even more about this beautiful university in Long Island. So curious about more? Keep reading!

The Campus

As Jasmijn and Esmee just told us, the beautiful buildings and trees of Hofstra University make the campus so special. But uh, we can think of something else: who can say that he/she lives, studies and plays sports 25 miles from the heart of New York City?Jasmijn and Esmee do! The life of a student athlete …

But as most of you will know by now, the life of a college athlete often involves a busy schedule, so Jasmijn and Esmee will not have the time to walk around in Central Park every week. Too bad you would think? No, it is not! Because as Jasmijn and Esmee already told, the campus itself is also very impressive!

Hofstra University was founded in 1935, based on the legacy of wealthy timber magnate William Sake Hofstra (pictured opposite) and his wife Kate Mason Williams. William’s parents were born in the Frisian town of ‘Franeker’, but later emigrated to the USA. The former home of Kate and William was named ‘The Netherlands’ and is now part of the campus. The university’s motto, ‘Je maintiendray’, is a derivative of William van Oranje’s well-known saying ‘I will maintain’. This is also a reminder of the Dutch influences at the University. A nice piece of Dutch history on Long Island.

The campus has a total of 117 different buildings! This includes about 35 buildings where students live, 18 different restaurants and 6 theaters. We hear you think, 6?! That is more than in most Dutch cities?! True, for that reason Hofstra University organizes hundreds of different social, academic and cultural events every year. The ‘Hofstra Museum of Art’ is located on the university as well, the museum contains a collection of more than 5000 works of art from different cultures from all over the world.

Besides some beautiful school buildings, the University also has a number of beautiful sports facilities as they are home to the ‘Hofstra Pride’! 14 ‘main facilities’ can be found on campus, all 14 of which are actually very impressive. One of the impressive stadiums is the ‘James M. Shuart Stadium’ where the university’s lacrosse team plays its games. The stadium offers seats for 13,000 spectators!

But the ‘Joseph M. Margiotta Hall’ is also a special building on the campus, it consists of three different floors where different things can be found: this building is seen as the focal point for the University’s Athletic program. On one of the floors there is a large gym, on another floor receptions are often held because it offers a panoramic view of the Lacrosse stadium and on another floor the theater can be found!

But the Hofstra hockey fields, where Jasmijn and Esmee are active, also look great! Since 2007, the hockey complex has been completely renovated and contains stands and a press box. The photo below shows an aerial photo of the hockey field and the fields around it. Looks good!

The university offers much more beautiful stuff than the mentioned above, but we just cannot put all that information in only this university spotlight. So would you like to see more of Hofstra University? Check out the video below!


21 varsity sports are offered at Hofstra University. 10 of the 21 teams are men with the following sports: baseball, basketball, cross-country skiing, golf, lacrosse, football, tennis, wrestling and indoor and outdoor athletics. In addition, there are 11 women teams, where no women’s teams are known in baseball, cross-country skiing and wrestling, women teams can be found for cross-country, field hockey, softball and volleyball! All teams compete in the NCAA Division-1 in the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association).

The Hofstra University teams are called the ‘Hofstra Prides’. The colors of the university are blue, white and gold. The mascots of Hofstra Prides are named after the Dutch founder of the university and his wife ‘Willie en Kate Pride’.

Most success is with the college wrestling team. A long time ago, in 1977, Hofstra wrestler Nick Gallo won the NCAA National Championship as well as the title of “Most Outstanding Wrestler” in NCAA Division 1. More recent wrestler success took place in 2006 and 2007. Then Chris Weidman, former Prides wrestler, won the NCAA Division 1 All American Championship twice. He is currently the UFC Middleweight Champion. You can see Chris in the picture on the right, what a champ huh!

You may have noticed that Hofstra does not have an American Football team, even while this is the largest and most profitable sport within Colleges in the USA! There was an American Football team from 1937 to 2009, but the sport was canceled in 2009 due to excessive costs and declining attendance. The money that was first put into American Football was then put to good use elsewhere: it went towards the establishment of the medical school on campus.

But another great American sport is fanatically practiced by the Prides: basketball. For the basketball enthusiasts among us: curious about the highlights of Hofstra’s Men’s Basketball Team in 2020? Watch it in the video below. Go Prides!


Hofstra University offers space to 10,804 students annually. Anything can be studied at university. Wondering if the direction you would like to take is also offered at the university? Have a look here.

Found your major? You might be itching one day to pick up your diploma, just like these graduated students in the picture below. Don’t we all dream of putting on a toga and throwing that cap in the air with classmates? It’s all part of the American Dream!

Fun Facts

Did you know that…

  • Lou Berger, writer of Sesamestreet, is graduated at Hofstra University?
  • Hofstra University awarded honorary degrees to Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Bill Clinton, but also to the former Dutch minister Jan-Peter Balkenende? For Jan-Peter this became the 4th honorary doctorate, previously he has been awarded by the universities of Tokyo, Seoul and Budapest.
  • The varsity teams of Hofstra University used to have the unofficial name of ‘The Flying Dutchmen’ before?

So it’s a wrap, this week’s university spotlight! Can’t get enough of these beautiful universities and amazing slamstox-athletes? And do you dream of becoming a student athlete in the USA, just like Esmee and Jasmijn? Reach out!