Brianna Wooldridge Transfers From LWW Back to Fremd

One of the state’s top 2022 bigs is on the move again.

Brianna Wooldridge, who played at Lincoln-Way West as a sophomore, has transferred to Fremd — the school where she played as a freshman.

@Southsuburbanhoops broke the news on Twitter on Wednesday, September 2. Tony Baranek at the Daily Southtown reports that Wooldridge’s Lincoln-Way West teammates knew of the move earlier.

Wooldridge said in a message that the move back to Fremd was prompted by family reasons. She said that leaving Lincoln-Way West is bittersweet.

“I’m not gonna lie, it’s weird,” she said. “I’m gonna really miss [Lincoln-Way West]. They have taught me so much and made a huge impact on me.”

For the Warriors, the loss is big, literally and figuratively. Wooldridge was a major contributor inside (averaging 12 points and eight rebounds) for a team that reached the state title and had hopes to do so again this year (COVID-19 and IHSA rules permitting).

Wooldridge’s talent led her to numerous Division 1 offers in recent months: Kansas State, Marshall, Southern Illinois, Arkansas State, San Jose State and Cleveland State — all since July 1.

To add an extra wrinkle, it was Fremd that beat Lincoln-Way West for the state title. During the game she experienced jeers and taunts from fans, and after the game she received mean-spirited texts, Wooldridge told Baranek after the loss.

Wooldridge told me that the game and those fan reactions have weighed on her amidst the transfer.

“Honestly it has been [on my mind],” she said. “But I have to do what I have to do at the end of the day and look at the positives. I know people in this school that have always been there for me, and they are even currently helping me get caught up on my classes.”

Another positive was the way Fremd players reached out after the state title game. She’s also reunited with former teammates, including Ruthie Montella and Grace Labarge, who started with Wooldridge as freshmen for Fremd.

Despite changing schools, a state title is still in the picture for Wooldridge.

“I’m excited just to get back in the groove of things,” she said. “I think expectations should still be high. I’m excited to start playing, and hopefully we can go back and play for a title again.”

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