Glenn Sr. and Linda Borland lived in Oelwein, Iowa, where Glenn Sr. was a foreman on the railroad there. Part of his job was to coordinate relief efforts around crashed or damaged trains. The city still has a display honoring his efforts.

The two adopted Glenn Jr. as a 3-month old when they learned that they could not have children of their own. They lived in a small house with a very large garage where Glenn Jr. honed his basketball skills (including his famous hook shot) from a young age.