Chieftain forward preps for summer games in Australia
Jordan Glenn's longest road trip this season could be to Hiawatha for Sub-state in late February.
He'll travel a little farther this summer.
Glenn, a senior on the Tonganoxie High School boys' basketball team, will compete with other American seniors in Australia with International Sports Specialists Inc., an organization that features American athletes in Australia. Glenn will compete on the Kansas team in a tournament against the other 49 states and some Australians.
When Glenn received a letter about the opportunity a few weeks ago, he knew it was something he wanted to do.
"Actually, I was really excited," Glenn said. "I was really anxious to come home and tell my mom. My mom and dad are my biggest fans, so I knew they'd like this a lot."
The Tonganoxie senior forward has some work to do before heading Down Under. Glenn has to raise $3,800 for the trip. Some possibilities include T-shirt sales, raffle tickets for airline tickets through ISSI, and promotions with gasoline stations. Participants ask gasoline station officials to donate gasoline revenue from a certain number of gasoline purchases.
Glenn was confident he could raise the needed funds.
"I think I can do it," Glenn said. "With some help I can probably do it."
Tonganoxie coach David Walker agreed.
"It's going to be a big endeavor for him, but I'm sure he'll work hard," Walker said. "It will definitely be an experience he'll never forget. It's just a great opportunity for him."
The ISSI players leave July 14 and return July 26. The 12-day excursion will involve some sightseeing, but Glenn is only concerned about basketball.
"The only thing I expect from them is basketball games I can play in," Glenn said. "I want to play the best I can and show them why I'm over there."
After the high school season is finished, Glenn plans to participate in a league at Sport 2 Sport in Lawrence, where he has competed the last few seasons. He also looks to compete in the Midwest Association of Youth Basketball.
George O'Scanlon, a New Zealand native, founded ISSI in 1989. O'Scanlon enjoyed American football and wanted to bring it to Australia.
He instituted the Down Under Bowl, a football exhibition that involves 44 teams and more than 2,000 athletes.
Former Down Under Bowl participants include the NFL's Jake Plummer (Arizona), Darrell Russell (Oakland) and former Nebraska running back Ahman Green (Green Bay).
ISSI has expanded, and now involves 11 sports, including basketball.
The teams will compete in Sydney and Cairns, both on Australia's eastern border.
Glenn wants to focus on basketball, but the trip will involve some relaxation the teams will stay in Honolulu for three days on the return trip.
"That will be kind of fun," Glenn said.