For more than 30 years Rich Vanderloo led Sioux City East athletics to countless state tournaments, with multiple state championships, leaving a legacy that people still talk about today.
“He was a 30-year employee here at East High. [He was] athletic director, coach, basically all aspects of activities,” said Ras Vanderloo, East’s head basketball coach.
“He did a lot for the school district and just encouraged all of his grandchildren to play basketball and get involved,” said junior, and Rich’s grandson, Bennet Vanderloo. “He told us if you’re not doing one sport, do another, there’s always something to do.”
Vanderloo passed away in 2011 due to kidney cancer, but his memory lives on thanks to the school and his family.
“We decided to put this pink out game together for cancer awareness,” Ras said. “Obviously everybody has been touched by it one way or another. If we could do a small part to keep it going and provide funds for scholarships and things for kids, he would’ve definitely enjoyed it.”
When the Black Raiders take the court on Tuesday, they’ll be wearing pink shirts during warmups. A testament to the man who had done so much for this program
The annual Pink-Out Game has been going on since 2012, and it’s become an important tradition for the community.
“All the little kids, everybody in the community, they all know this as the pink out game,” said senior guard Jaleque Dunson. “We see all the middle schoolers with their pink on, ready to come out to the game and support. It’s just a really cool atmosphere to see all of that.”
“There’s always a remembrance around here. His spirit lives in this gym. I can feel it every home game,” said East assistant and Rich’s grandson Tyler Vanderloo. It’s pretty cool, our team has adapted to it, and it’s awesome.”