We don’t know for sure, but Jaelyn Glenn and Brylee Glenn might be the best set of basketball-playing twins in women’s college hoops today. We’ve seen them mature before our very eyes, this mixture of confidence and aggressiveness taking root on the hardwood, and they’ve passed their individual tests while kicking obstacles to the side in the Little Apple. There’s this thing about them, the “it” factor, which began a couple of years ago when the natives of Kansas City, Missouri, arrived at Kansas State, and that’s steadily grown as they enter the summer prior to their junior seasons.
But before they embark upon their summer workouts and shootarounds and conditioning and recovery within the confines of the Ice Family Basketball Center, the big question looming today is how they performed on their accounting final exam, which they took at 7:30 a.m. It marked the last final exam for each — Brylee is a 2023 Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree; Jaelyn is a 2023 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team recipient — after a journey through papers and online courses and projects and notes and lectures, and, well, sometimes it’s difficult to fully digest how that final exam went in the end.
“It wasn’t really that hard,” Brylee says.
“I hope I did well,” Jaelyn says. “It’s crazy how that works out. She never helps.”
“She never asks,” Brylee says, laughing. “She never asks. Or else I would help.”
They both major in Business Administration. When not in the classroom, and when not involved in their favorite “chill” activities — Jaelyn bakes some mean cake balls and just recently watched “Blended,” and “50 First Dates”; Brylee is watching “Teen Wolf” on Hulu — they make improvement on the basketball court their business. Jaelyn admires her sister’s work ethic. Brylee admires how her sister can make six 3s in a row “and her expression will not change.”
Each continues to also rehabilitate an ankle injury. Jaelyn, a 6-foot-1 guard, sprained her right ankle — “the worst pain ever in my life,” she says — late in the season. Brylee, a 6-foot guard, dealt with a left-ankle injury almost throughout the season.
Oh, don’t worry. They’re good to go.
“I’m just going to continue working out and getting in the weight room but also work on my running and conditioning and overall rehab to keep my body healthy,” Brylee says, “so going into next year I can avoid as many injuries as possible.”
Together, they averaged 19.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.2 steals during the 2022-23 season.
Jaelyn, who had a career-high 33 starts last season, ranks fifth in K-State history with 2.01 steals per game in her career, and her eight games with at least five steals ties for second all-time in school history. She was the only player in the nation with at least 70 3-pointers and 90 steals last season.
Brylee also had a career-high 32 starts and posted 300 points, 99 rebounds and 61 steals. She scored at least 10 points in 17 games and had a career-high 24 points against Texas Tech.
Both upped their individual games their sophomore seasons, and they had to elevate their impact even more so with the absence of All-American Ayoka Lee, who spent the season recovering from offseason surgery prior to a 19-17 season that ended in the third round of the Postseason WNIT.
“Yokie’s absence definitely forced other people to up their scoring games,” Brylee says. “With Yokie out, that’s over half of our points gone, so other people had to step into those scoring roles, and also rebound. I wasn’t a huge rebounder but that’s something I had to do last year.”
The absence of 6-foot-6 Lee, the second player in K-State history with 1,600 points, 850 rebounds and 225 blocks, and who set the NCAA Division I women’s basketball record with 61 points against Oklahoma on January 23, 2022, prompted head coach Jeff Mittie to reinstall the “Rebound Warrior” prize for his players last season.
“Whoever got the most rebounds in a game got to wear a gold outfit in practice and wouldn’t have to run sprints,” says Jaelyn, who led the team with 5.4 rebounds per game.
K-State incurred challenges with consistency a year ago. Although the Wildcats beat No. 4 Iowa and No. 12 Iowa State at Bramlage Coliseum, they struggled on the road. Those struggles might be over soon as K-State flips the page with a healthy Lee, Jaelyn and Brylee, and the return of 2023 All-Big 12 First Team guard Gabby Gregory, the backcourt leadership of 2023 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention point guard Serena Sundell, and with the additions of Louisville transfers Imani Lester and Zyanna Walker.
These factors, and more, have led K-State to be ranked No. 24 in ESPN’s too-early Top 25 poll.
“Being ranked in the preseason, I feel like this year we’re going to have a lot of talent and a lot of special players, so there’s going to be a lot expected out of us,” Brylee says. “There’s just so many hard-working people that I think will live up to those standards. I think it’s going to be a great year for us overall. I’m excited to see it happen.”
“To win the Big 12,” Brylee says, “and to make it to the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight.”
The Glenn sisters have certainly come a long way. Since they were in kindergarten, they’ve been in lock step on the basketball court. They tried soccer, volleyball and cheerleading, but there was nothing quite like the feeling they got playing basketball.
Jaelyn finished her senior season at The Barstow School averaging 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and nearly two blocks en route to becoming a 2021 McDonald’s All-American Game nominee. Jaelyn was the nation’s 54th ranked player by ESPNW Hoopgurlz. Brylee averaged 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals and was the 75th ranked player by ProspectsNation.com. She set the school record with more than 1,000 career points and was the first player in school history to score at least 40 points in three different games.
From playing together on Little Ballers for Raymore-Peculiar, and then onto ABA Supreme, to Future, to Missouri Phenom Pheesa, and to Lady Run GMC, the Glenn’s lived in the gym for eight years under the tutelage of AAU head coach Rodney Gilyard, who they call one of the most impactful people in their lives. Their team went 25-2 during the summer of 2018 and won the Prague 17-and-under division of the 2018 Nike Tournament of Champions in Chicago.
“We dreamed of playing college basketball together for a really long time, since seventh or eighth grade,” Jaelyn says. “We’d start getting letters from colleges for camps. It was already a given that we were going to go to college together. Then when we found a school that wanted us both, and saw us both fitting into the program, it became super real. Really, it’s a blessing, honestly.”
Together, they also represent the Kansas City-based Cherry Co., founded by Thalia Cherry in 2012, which specializes in sporty chic clothing. They initially received T-shirts that read “DON’T BE A LADY, BE A LEGEND,” which led to a photoshoot for Brylee, and turned into a twin feature with Brylee and Jaelyn. They attended a Cherry Co. pre-draft bash prior to the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City, Missouri, which featured a runway fashion show.
“You never know what you’re going to get with the NIL,” Brylee says. “I like Cherry’s mission and everything is super cool, so that draws me to continue to work with them and promote what they put out there.”
The Glenn twins are ready to put their best foot forward again this coming season.
“I’ve learned that I perform a lot better when I play with confidence,” Jaelyn says. “That comes with the game. This past year, I grew out of being timid because I had to. I had to step into a bigger role. Playing with confidence was key.”
Adds Brylee: “What have I learned most about myself in the past year? I’ve learned there are going to be a lot of obstacles thrown at you and to just maintain consistency and not allow little things to cause my confidence to waver.”
There’s no waver in the game of the Glenn twins.
It’ll be exciting to witness how they continue to elevate their presence in their junior seasons.