Samantha Logic and Gabbi Ortiz, whose respective high school basketball careers in Racine County barely overlapped, have long had a deep respect from afar for each other’s skills.
Within a matter of weeks, they’ll be teammates.
Logic, the AP Player of the Year in Wisconsin as a senior at Case in 2011, and Ortiz, a four-time All-State player for Prairie, will be teammates on the Wisconsin Glo, a new organization in the five-team Global Women’s Basketball Association.
Other teams in the league are based in St. Louis, Flint, Mich., Topeka, Kan., and Nashville, Tenn.
Logic and Ortiz are finishing their respective seasons and both have flights scheduled to Wisconsin April 30. Logic has been playing for the Young Angels in Kosich, Slovakia and Ortiz for Cuidad de la Adelantados in Tenerife, Canary Islands in Spain.
They will be joined on the Glo by players mostly with Wisconsin connections. The Glo, who open their season May 10 which an exhibition game, will play its home games at Menomonee Nation Arena in Oshkosh.
“I think this is a great opportunity to be able to showcase the talent that has come out of our state,” said Logic, a third-team AP All-American as a senior at Iowa in 2015. “It’ll be real cool for kids to be able to come and watch us do this as a job.
“The staff for the Glo has put together a solid team so far and I’m excited to see what we can put together the first year. And I’m really excited that I have the chance to play in front of my family and friends who support me so much, even when I’m overseas.”
Ortiz, whose team went 22-4 and finished second in its league, will play in the finals April 25-28 before heading home. Then she will join forces with Logic on the Glo for her summer job.
“I think it’s awesome that I will get the opportunity to play alongside her this summer,” said Ortiz, a four-year starter at Oklahoma from 2014-18 who turned 23 Monday. “She is an extremely talented player who’s had a career I look up to.
“I watched her a lot in college and followed her career as a Hawkeye. I love her toughness and high IQ for the game. She is such a smart, well-rounded player who you want on the floor at all times.”
Logic was a senior at Case when Ortiz was a freshman at Prairie during the 2010-11 school year. The two have only played some pick-up games against each other, but Logic has liked a lot of what she’s seen from Ortiz.
“I know how much she loves to play and you can easily tell that with that edge, that chip on her shoulder, and I love playing with people like that,” Logic said. “We’ve played pick-up when we’ve been back home a couple of times and her range can open up the paint for us. She searches for open spaces to get herself in a position for a good look.
“She also obviously had a good handle on the ball and can make plays for other people, so anytime you have a player with 3-point range and a good ability to dish, that’s a huge offensive threat.”
In an interview with Jason Zimmerman of WBAY in Oshkosh in February, Fox Valley Pro Basketball president Greg Pierce expressed high hopes for the league.
“The league is small, but it’s all veterans of women’s minor league basketball,” Pierce said. “Two of the teams in the league — one is in Flint, Mich., and one is in St. Louis — have been multiple-time champions in other leagues and have all joined this league.”
Speaking of players on the Glo, Pierce told Zimmerman, “Most of them are going to have Wisconsin backgrounds — either they played at UWGB, Madison or they played at UW-Milwaukee or Marquette. This is just an exciting opportunity for them to be able to play the game they love.”
Logic is hoping this is the start of something big.
“I believe the hope of this is to set this up as a stepping stone top the equivalent of a D-League for the WNBA,” Logic said. “Obviously, it will take some time to get there, but I really think this will be a great chance to be part of something pretty special from the beginning.”