After a one-season absence on the hard court, the St. Louis Surge women’s professional basketball franchise returns to play this weekend with a new coach, numerous returnees and an overall positive attitude.
As the local rep of the Global Women’s Basketball Association (GWBA), the Surge competes for the first time since the GWBA National Championship Tournament in August 2019. Their slotted 2020 summer campaign was canceled due to the pandemic.
“Last year, the city of St. Louis, our entire sports community and ultimately Surge fans missed out on what could have been a phenomenal season,” recently said Surge Owner Khalia Collier. “Although the season was put on pause, it didn’t stop us from preparing for 2021.”
During that downtime, the Surge installed Washington University women’s basketball assistant Duez Henderson as the team’s newly-minted Head Coach and General Manager.
“We are hard at work preparing for the season home opener,” recently said Henderson. “While the last 14 months have been challenging, it is also important to note we’ve found ways to grow during this time. It has given us a chance to recharge, refocus and re-energize.”
Optimism is high as many Surge starters, some who possesses championship credentials, make their return Saturday.
Guard Rebecca Harris (5-8, Illinois) claimed MVP honors at the 2019 GWBA Tournament and finished the season with a team-leading 18.3 points per game average. Harris is a two-time national title winner alongside forward Jaleesa Butler (6-1, Georgetown) who contributed 8.8 points per game.
Forward Kristi Bellock (6-1, Texas A & M) contributed 11.1 points per game in 2019 while point guard Kelsey McClure (5-8, Arkansas Tech) added seven points per game.
Pattonville High standout forward Mikala McGhee (5-11, Florida Gulf Coast University) returns for her second year of GWBA play after an inaugural 7.7 PPG campaign.
Longtime Surge fixtures Leah Cotton (5-8, Minnesota) and Brittany Carter (6-0, Illinois) return to the fold and plan to contribute high numbers.
The Surge’s Saturday adversary, Flint Monarchs, finished runner-up at the GWBA 2019 National Title Game…but just barely as they fell to the Wisconsin GLO in the title tilt, 80-78. The three-time national champions easily topped St. Louis in that weekend’s semifinals.
But that was then and this is now. Newly-charged, the Surge aim to start the season at home on a high note and set the template for a successful campaign.
ATTENDANCE NOTE: Due to pandemic restrictions, attendance will be limited to Surge season ticket holders for the first two games of the season on a first-come, first serve basis with a maximum attendance of 300. A seven-game season package can be purchased at the team’s website.
As of press time, game-day individual tickets will not be sold at the door. However, the team will provide a live stream of the event. More information on the Surge can be found at their official website.
ST. LOUIS SURGE HOME SCHEDULE
SAT 6/12 6:05 PM VS. FLINT MONARCHS
SAT 6/19 6:05 PM VS. MEMPHIS BLAZE
SAT 6/26 3:05 PM VS. WISCONSIN GLO
SUN 6/27 3:05 PM VS. WISCONSIN GLO
SAT 7/17 6:05 PM VS. COLUMBUS CARDINALS
SAT 8/7 3:05 PM VS. DETROIT QUEENS
SUN 8/8 3:05 PM VS. DETROIT DODGERS