Considering that he spent much of his childhood in Missouri, it’s not a surprise that Michael Porter Jr. chose to play for the Tigers. It’s even less of a surprise given the program just hired the elite recruit’s father.
“I’m looking forward to the year ahead with Coach Cuonzo and my teammates,” Porter wrote Friday on Twitter, referring to Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin. On Thursday, Martin added the 18-year-old’s father, Michael Porter Sr., to his staff.
Porter Sr. had been an assistant with Missouri’s women’s basketball team until 2016, when he was hired at Washington, which led to his son committing to that program. However, Washington fired Porter Sr., along with head coach Lorenzo Romar, last week, and it released his son from his letter of intent on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Porter won the Gatorade National Player of the Year award, and he could turn pro after the upcoming season. In the meantime, he’s happy to have come “home,” telling ESPN, “I love the city, the fans and I feel like next year we can do something very special there.”
“It wasn’t an easy decision at all, but I’m very comfortable with the program and Coach Martin,” Porter said. “I trust my dad. I think we have a chance to do something special. … I’m excited beyond words.”
Listed at 6-foot-8 and 210 pounds, Porter is the fifth-rated recruit in national rankings at Scout.com, and is No. 1 at his position, small forward. This season, Porter averaged 36.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3.2 steals and 2.7 blocks per game, while he and his younger brother, Jontay, helped lead Seattle’s Nathan Hale to a 29-0 season and a state title.
Missouri hired Martin, who had been the head at California, earlier this month. “Mizzou, it’s a school where I think I can go and be remembered forever,” Porter told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last year.