Former UWGB star Mehryn Kraker resumes playing career, quits Phoenix assistant job
It turns out that Mehryn Kraker wasn’t ready to stop playing basketball.
That’s what the former University of Wisconsin-Green Bay star achieved after his stint with the Wisconsin Glo in the Global Women’s Basketball Association this summer.
One year after being appointed assistant coach under Kevin Borseth at UWGB, Kraker decided to return his clipboard for a jersey again.
She recently signed a contract with Ostersund Basket in Sweden and scored 24 points on her debut last Saturday. She is a teammate with former Horizon League nemesis Elena Popkey, who was an Outstanding Guard in Oakland from 2012-2016.
Kraker still fulfilled his coaching obligations with the Phoenix while playing for the Glo, including helping out on the recruiting track with Borseth and fellow assistant coaches Sarah Bronk and Megan Vogel.
She described her first season on the bench as a “learning year” and said in June that she enjoys working with the Phoenix players and it makes it easier to get to work.
Kraker also said that while she sometimes missed her playing days, she felt more fulfilled as a coach and could see herself doing it for a long time.
It still might be, but that part of his basketball life has been put on hold.
âThe only factor was realizing that I wanted to play and wasn’t done yet,â Kraker said. âWhen (I) spoke at the start of the summer about Glo, I had no intention of playing. But as the summer wore on, I realized the fire was still there. Saying goodbye to the girls was horrible. I love them so much and couldn’t be more proud of them or the hard work they put in. They really felt like my younger sisters.
âObviously telling Coach Borseth was so, so hard. He was beyond comprehension and I am grateful to him for that. He is the best.”
Kraker scored 1,671 points for the Phoenix from 2012 to 2017 and was the Senior Conference Player of the Year before being selected by the Washington Mystics with 27th pick in WNBA draft in 2017.
UWGB replaced Kraker on the bench with another former Phoenix player, appointing Carly Mohns as their new assistant this week.
Mohns played for the UWGB in 2018-19 and started all 32 games after being transferred from the University of Iowa.
She was a junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach at Broadhead High School and director of women’s basketball for the Wisconsin Academy, an AAU program.
âI am thrilled to be part of the Phoenix coaching staff,â Mohns said in a statement released by the school. âI was honored to play for Green Bay and now look forward to the transition from player to assistant coach. Being a part of GB’s successful basketball program is a dream come true.
Some of his roles at UWGB include player development, recruiting and supporting the overall operations of the program.
She is the third person in as many seasons to essentially take the place of longtime former Phoenix assistant Amanda Leonhard-Perry after being named St. Norbert College coach in April 2019.
Clyde Manns was hired to supplement the Phoenix coaching staff, but quit after a year. Kraker replaced him before leaving as well.
âWe are very happy to have Carly back as Phoenix,â said Borseth. âCarly is going to be sentenced to life in the coaching business. In some ways she looks a lot like me when I first started coaching. Just give me the keys to the gym and I’ll be there, and she’s been successful as an athlete while being a great teammate. Carly has a good idea of ââthe game as well as the importance of reaching out to players in the process. We can’t wait to see it evolve over time. “