NEW BERLIN – After returning to game action for the first time since he collapsed on the court three weeks ago, Wisconsin Lutheran’s Jordan Glenn wanted to leave people with this:
“Just never give up and trust God and trust the process,” he said.
That was the senior guard’s final thought after he finished with nine points, three rebounds and three steals in 19 minutes for the area’s top-ranked team in a 72-63 victory at New Berlin West on Friday night.
Glenn’s ability to return to the court came into question after he collapsed and briefly lost consciousness early in a game Jan. 7 at West Allis Central. A survivor of sudden cardiac arrest in January 2021, Glenn plays with an implanted defibrillator, which uses electrical shocks to restore a normal heartbeat.
At the time a return to action seemed unlikely, but after going through an extensive battery of tests his doctor cleared him to return to action. Glenn has been back practicing with the team since Jan. 13.
“Everything came back negative. There wasn’t any sign of anything going on with his heart,” Glenn’s mother, Carlissa, said. “They couldn’t find anything wrong. They’re just monitoring him and said he’s cleared to play. That’s how we got him back on the floor.
“I think before (at West Allis Central) he may have been a little dehydrated and they think that may have had something to do with him passing out.”
Carlissa Glenn attended the game Friday as she always does. She saw her son enter the game about four minutes into play and stick his first shot, a pull-up jumper near the free-throw line.
“I always worry when he’s playing or doing anything,” she said. “As a mother, I’m always going to worry and I’m always going to be nervous. I trust the doctors and what they’re saying, so I’m just supporting him and what he wants to do.”
Glenn's heart issue first came to light in January 2021 when he collapsed during a game with Menomonee Falls and was revived by some nurses who happened to be in attendance. He didn’t play again last season, but had a defibrillator implanted in April and was cleared to return to basketball in July.
Before his latest episode, Glenn was one of Lutheran’s top players. A 5-foot-11 lefty, he ranked second on the team in scoring (17 points per game) and rebounding (5.3) and third in assists (2.7) before missing the last six games.
Glenn is normally a starter, but Friday he came off the bench and went 4 for 13. He went 1 for 5 from three-point range, though the three he made came during a second-half run that helped break open the game.
The first time he entered the game, the Lutheran fans gave him a warm round of applause.
“It felt good. I was a little bit nervous still but got through it,” he said. “I appreciate all my teammates for believing in me and letting me come back and do what I do.”
Lutheran welcomed Glenn back and scored a hard-fought win over a West squad that has given opponents trouble since senior Noah Daniels returned to the lineup after missing the first five games.
West came back from a 9-0 deficit at the start of the game to lead, 35-34, at the half. It wasn’t until five minutes into the second half that Lutheran started to pull away for good. A 19-7 run over a four-minute span gave Lutheran a 12-point lead with eight minutes left.
Glenn’s three at the 12:19 mark gave Wisconsin Lutheran a 50-45 advantage.
“Since he hasn’t played in a couple of weeks, from a coaching standpoint we restricted him just because we wanted him to get back into the flow,” Lutheran coach Ryan Walz said. “But there were no restrictions from the doctors. They want him out there and they want him going full on.”
Junior guard Jamiir Allen led Wisconsin Lutheran with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Sophomore guard Kon Knueppel made 5 of 9 shots and posted 15 points and seven rebounds. Senior forward Alan Hernandez led the team in rebounds (10) and had seven points. Junior Josh Knueppel had nine points, going 3 for 6 from three-point range.
It’s a special team, one Glenn wants to be part of.
“I just love this brotherhood and chemistry we have this season,” Glenn said. “I wish we can keep going and get stronger, try to make a run for state.”
THANK YOU: Subscribers' support makes this work possible. Help us share the knowledge by buying a gift subscription.
DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin Lutheran's Jordan Glenn returns to basketball after collapse