The final buzzer went off March 11th at the Kress Center and it was all over for Ashley Green. The game. The season. Her career. The days of long hours spent in the gym putting up hundreds of jump shots and running sprints had come to an end. She knew this day would come, she just didn’t know when. She had talked about it with her fellow seniors how they’d react, but still didn’t know how they would. But with twenty seconds left in the game, she was subbed out one last time, ending a career that will go down as one of the best ever at Milwaukee.
Green came to UWM from nearby Glendale, Wisconsin after attending Nicolet High School for four years. Her extraordinary high school career ended with a state championship as she led her team to a 26-2 record. She also was awarded first-team all state both her junior and senior year and left as Nicolet’s all-time leading scorer.
Entering her freshman year she knew there would be a lot of adjustments she would need to make in order to be successful at the next level. She knew the pace would be faster along with everyone being much stronger and she also knew that she was going to have to get used to not being the best player on the court. For most freshman, adjusting to the college game takes a year, sometime two, but not for Green.
Green appeared in all thirty games her freshman year, while starting the final twenty-four. She finished the year averaging 10.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game earning her a spot on the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team. She was ready for an even bigger sophomore season, but before she could focus on that, she’d have to make another adjustment.
During the offseason leading into her sophomore year, a coaching change occurred, as UWM hired head coach Kyle Rechlicz. Rechlicz came to Milwaukee after being an assistant coach at Wisconsin and noticed Green’s abilities right away.
“I think the number one thing I picked up on Ashley when I walked in the doors at Milwaukee was her skill level,” says Rechlicz. “She was able to take something she was learning in a workout and apply it rather quickly.”
Green turned in another successful season during her sophomore year as she finished averaging 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. That year she led the team in scoring ten different times and scored a season high thirty-three points against Bradley. She improved her stats once again during her junior season, bumping her points per game up to 14.2 while also grabbing 6.7 rebounds per game. Along with being one of just two players to start all thirty games for the Panthers, she also finished eleventh in the Horizon League in rebounding and fourteenth in scoring. The level in which she played at during her first three seasons at Milwaukee was high, but nowhere near the level in which she was about to play at during her final year.
Her final season playing for the Panthers started off with a bang as she poured in thirty-six points against North Dakota giving her the best season-opener statistically in UWM program history. She followed that game up with another thirty points and against North Dakota and then another twenty-three the following game against Bowling Green. Through the first six games she was averaging an astonishing 25.5 points per game, which at the time was sixth best in all of women’s college basketball.
Even with countless double teams through out the season, she finished the year averaging 19.3 points per game to go along with her 7.9 rebounds, which landed her a spot on the First-Team All-Horizon League. Her 1,653 total points scored through out her four years at Milwaukee landed her in fourth place all-time in scoring in UWM history. Green closed out her career at Milwaukee with one of the best statistical seasons in program history.
Now that her playing days are over, she is able to move on to the next chapter in her life. She was offered opportunities to play professionally overseas but turned them down to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was accepted into the PT school.
“Basketball has obviously been a huge part of my life but I’m ready to see what’s next,” she says. “I’m always going to have basketball in my future whether it’s coaching or something else related, but as far as playing wise, I’m happy with what I chose.”
There are many things that she’ll miss about playing for and living in Milwaukee but there’s one thing in particular that sticks out from the rest, “We had a really close team this year so not being able to see the girls is definitely one of the things I’ll miss the most.”
As far as all the accomplishments and records she set at Milwaukee during her four years, she hasn’t thought about them much. To her, the individual accomplishments come second when she looks back at her career. “Maybe in a few years from now I’ll look back at everything and be proud of what was accomplished this year individually, but for now the things I look back on is what we accomplished as a team.”