Wisconsin Lutheran's Glenn makes comeback with family by his side
MILWAUKEE - Having a support system and never giving up can often be the difference between success and failure.
For one Wisconsin Lutheran High School senior it means so much more.
"It’s basically a blessing that I can still play."
Every time Jordan Glenn takes the court for the Vikings, it’s a moment to give thanks.
"It makes me point in what god wants me to do, my vocation, and how I affect people," said Glenn.
The effect he had on his mom Carlissa and his grandmother Jacqueline Mitchell-Glenn was immediate, especially when it came to hoops.
"Ever since he was two years old he’s loved basketball," said Carlissa.
"He was at the staircase shooting the ball across the room and would hit," said Jacqueline. "I said, "Whoa!""
By middle school, he was on the radar of his high school coach Ryan Walz.
"He has a special charisma about him that just draws people to him," said Walz.
But on January 9, 2021, he was getting attention for another reason. He collapsed during a game at Menomonee Falls High School as he was suffering from cardiac arrest.
"It was kind of surreal," Carlissa said.
"I just prayed, and I stayed as strong as I could," Jacqueline said.
"It was really, really hard for everybody that was there and saw it," Walz said.
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Medical professionals attending the game applied life-saving measures to Jordan before he was taken to the hospital.
"He looked at me, and he said, "Mom can we turn the game on because I want to see how they’re doing" and I said, "Jordan, they stopped the game. They want to make sure that you’re okay,"" said Carlissa. "He’s like, "Oh really?" and I said, "Yes." he said, "Oh, okay."
"I’m really thinking, ‘Am I still alive or am I awake,’" said Glenn. "In my mind, I was confused. I don’t know what happened. But, they told me I collapsed, and I was just trying to process everything."
Jordan would recover and in April 2021 he received a pacemaker.
"I thought it was the best thing for me because they said that I can still play," Glenn said.
So, in the fall, Jordan was back on the court with his Vikings teammates.
"It was hard," Clarissa said.
But as time went on, it got easier.
"After the first game when I dropped 20 points with my teammates, I just loved the energy they gave me when I came back," said Glenn.
A big reason, the support of family, including Jordan's great-grandmother Rose Mitchell.
"I keep checking with them," said Mitchell. "We no crybabies."
Yet, the concern didn’t completely disappear.
"There’s always that thought in the back of your mind of could this happen again and would this happen again, what would that be like," said Walz.
Unfortunately, they would find out.
"Not again," said Clarissa.
Almost a year to the day, January 7, 2022, in a game at West Allis Central, Jordan collapsed for a second time.
"Just, not again," Clarissa said. "That’s all that went through my head."
"I’m not giving up," said Glenn. "That’s what basically went in my head."
"Once he stood up and then I kind of snapped out of it," said Clarissa. "So, kind of to me, it felt like a dream."
This time, it was dehydration that caused him to go down. But the scare it created for his biggest support group, his family, is something Jordan understands.
"I don’t know what they’d do if I just was dead or whatever," Glenn said. "I don’t know. I don’t know. I just love them to death is all I have to say right now."
He’s still playing and now, each day is a little more special.
"It’s just the little things that you may have before taken for granted that you try not to now," Clarissa said.
"It’s surprising how many people like really love me and just support me in everything I do," said Glenn.
Jordan is a nominee for the WIAA Spirit of Sport Award sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
He's also being recruited to continue his basketball career in college.