Talk about the ultimate summer job.
Samantha Logic and Gabbi Ortiz, among the greatest basketball players in Racine County history, have been able to spend much of this summer with their respective families after another long season of playing overseas.
And when it’s time to work, they make the 112-mile drive to Oshkosh, home of the professional Wisconsin GLO, and help their star-studded team pound opponents into submission.
Going into Saturday’s semifinals of the Global Women’s Basketball Association Tournament at Oshkosh, the 12-0 GLO are favorites to win the four-team league. They will be joined this weekend at the Menominee Nation Arena by the Music City Icons of Nashville, Tenn., the Flint (Mich.) Monarchs and the St. Louis Surge.
“It’s kind of been a refreshing experience,” Ortiz said. “Coming from overseas, it’s a tough life over there. This is more of a college feeling and all of us are Wisconsin kids, so I think that, in itself, has been real cool for us with all the top talent in Wisconsin coming together.
“It’s honestly been an amazing experience.”
Said Logic: “It’s been fun. The group of women we have are obviously very talented and have a high basketball IQ. It makes it easy to mesh and gel together when people understand basketball and want to be there and know how to use each other’s strengths.
“So we’re just looking forward to closing it out the right way this weekend.”
The odds are strongly in the GLO’s favor. Players on this team include guard Jolene Anderson, the University of Wisconsin’s all-time leading scorer, guard Kelly Moten, the 2017 NCAA Division 2 Player of the Year at Emporia State and forward Mehryn Kraker, third on UW-Green Bay’s all-time scoring list.
But the Racine connection of Logic and Ortiz have been as important as anyone on the team.
The 5-foot-9 Logic, the AP Player of the Year in Wisconsin as a senior at Case in 2011 and a third-team AP All-American for Iowa in ‘15, has been an all-purpose floor leader for the GLO. Coming off playing for the Young Rebels in Kosich, Slovakia last season, the 26-year-old Logic has averaged 10.5 points, 5.0 steals, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals.
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“I admire her court vision and her basketball IQ is really high,” Ortiz said. “She uses her body very well. She gets in that paint area, she picks up her dribble and she’s always looking for that next play. She does that better than anyone I know.
“She just has a feel for the game and she finds the right player on the court. She’s really good at that. She’s older than me, so I’ve watched her play for awhile.”
The 5-foot-7 Ortiz, a three-time first-team AP All-State Player for Prairie from 2012-14, has been one of the GLO’s best outside shooters. Coming off a successful season for the Ciudad de la Adelantados in Tenerie, Canary Islands in Spain, the 23-year-old Ortiz has averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
“I think she’s just a knock-down shooter,” Logic said. “That’s not the only thing she does, but that’s the first thing. She can spread defenses out and you have to be worried about where she is all the time because, as an opponent, she’s not the one you want shooting the ‘3.’ “
“She can just really light it up. And she comes off ball screens really well and understands defenses pretty well. She’s just a great asset for our team.”
The GLO have dominated their competition with victories that have included 107-44 over the Indianapolis Bandits June 16 in a non-league game and 128-56 June 22 over the Music City Icons. In a 97-27 victory over the Chicago Breeze June 8 in another non-league game, the GLO scored the first 31 points of the game.
Clearly, the GLO have the most talented players in the league and the only they’ve been pushed was July 28, when they defeated Flint 101-91 in the regular-season finale. But in fairness, Ortiz points out another factor in the GLO’s domination — they have enjoyed far greater fan support than other teams in the league.
“The only negative has been the competition,” she said. “But that just comes from the other teams not having the funds to support their players. They’re not getting paid, so why would I drive 10 hours from Nashville to Wisconsin and not get paid? No one’s going to do that.
“So that’s what I’ve learned from the breakdown of this league. It’s a small league and we kick everyone’s butt besides that Flint team. But that’s just because players are quitting left and right because they’re not getting paid.
“It’s not like the talent isn’t there (on other teams). They just can’t keep the talent.”
That means the GLO should dominate this weekend at Oshkosh. The semifinal games will be at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, with the championship game following at 3 p.m. Sunday.
“If we play up what we can play, I think we should be able to handle business,” Logic said. “You have to come ready to play and to play our best and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”