Wisconsin Glo prepare for second season

Players return from overseas, await WNBA expansion
Posted at 11:52 PM, Jun 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-13 13:10:01-04

OSHKOSH, Wis. (NBC 26) — Much of the Wisconsin Glo roster has just returned from playing overseas, one of the most viable options for women in basketball to continue their playing careers after college.

"I knew overseas was just the thing to do," UW-Green Bay alum Jessica Lindstrom said. "And unfortunately, yeah, it is overseas, so that's eight months that you're away from home. So it'd be really cool to play in your own state even, but your own country in general is just really, really fun. And having my parents come next week, stuff like that – whereas in Belgium where I play, they have to watch online. It's a seven-hour time difference. Everything is just a little bit less personal, you know, with my family and fans and things like that."

The entire 2021 roster has connections to the Badger State, from being raised here to playing collegiate ball here – now relishing the opportunity to continue playing in Wisconsin.

"I think it's special because most of these women are coming back from playing overseas where they might be the only American," UW-Green Bay alum Mehryn Kraker said. "You might only have one other, and to come back and play in your home state, where your family can come, your friends can come; you're away for eight months, it's just such a family atmosphere."

These women represent Wisconsin basketball at the highest level, and because of that, many have crossed paths on the hardwood before wearing the same uniform at Menominee Nation Arena.

"I've never shared the floor with any of these girls," Milwaukee native Allazia Blockton said. "I've played against them in college or in high school, so it's great to be able to honestly play with them on the same team this time instead of play against them. So I think it's going to be great."

"I would watch Julie [Wojta] at Green Bay. Jolene [Anderson] was from my area. I heard all about her," Lindstrom said. "When I first saw her at an AAU tournament I was like 'oh my god, that's Jolene!'"

"She was a coach at the time even, and I was like – because in your eyes, I was a girls basketball player and I'm like, who's good around me, you know?" Lindstrom said. "When you can put all of those girls that people look up to together, I think that that creates something special."

As thankful as these players are for the chance to play at home, they know what's between them and continuing a more lucrative basketball career stateside: WNBA expansion.

"We're all advocates for that," Lindstrom said. "We want expansion. We want, if there's like a G League-type for the WNBA because they can't expand, we would love to be a part of that. That's our goal."

"I mean, it's been needed for the past many years, probably since it started," Port Wing native and 2008 WNBA second round pick Jolene Anderson said. "Unfortunately, I think they're probably working on it, but you know it's going to take more than one person saying that we want it to expand. It has to come from other states getting involved, like the Glo. Other states having a team that comes up. Having people experience, come to the games, witness that there's other talent out there other than people in the WNBA now. And hopefully down the road, hopefully we'll see it."

"So we're just kind of being the ice breakers, really. Kind of being the gophers to see if it's going to work," Anderson said. "And I'm all for it."