The courting of Mount Vernon forward Samantha Porter by Christopher Newport University’s women’s basketball team began her freshman year. And the school never relented in their pursuit of the 5-foot-11 forward, staying in constant contact with Porter as she entered her fourth season of varsity basketball with the Majors.
A couple weeks ago she rewarded the Newport News school’s consistency with an oral commitment. Porter had a visit to Mount St. Mary’s lined up days after her visit to Division III Christopher Newport, but she canceled the trip to Mount St. Mary’s soon after her time on campus.
“I had a tough recruiting process, it was very intense and irritating,” Porter said after a Wednesday practice. “Christopher Newport was nice, and I liked the coaches. It was a beautiful campus.”
This time last year Porter was in constant talks with Towson, but when coach Joe Matthews’ contract wasn’t renewed in February the team backed off.
Porter also fielded an offer from Division II Shepherd University, and several other Division II and Division I programs showed strong interest.
Ultimately, the fact that Christopher Newport had a quality physical therapy program landed the Captains the talented forward.
“The biggest thing college coaches talk about is her motor,” said Mount Vernon Coach Courtney Coffer. “She doesn’t stop, she’s aggressive and she’s always grabbing offensive rebounds. She’s got a nice soft touch around the basket.
Porter is also tough as nails. Her sophomore year, in a home loss against Oakton, an elbow knocked her front tooth out. The tooth was hanging and Coffer called a timeout to sub her out. But Porter refused to be taken out of the game, she then took the tooth out and threw it on the sideline. She played the rest of the game without it.
“She’ll dive on the floor, and she’s just that glue kid that does everything right that college coaches love.” Coffer added.
Porter moves into a leadership role this season for the Majors as four seniors moved on to play college basketball. She averaged 11 points and six rebounds per game last season with four double-doubles. Expect those numbers to increase this season with more responsibility and added confidence in her deep ball.
Senior Chanel Shannon (Barton College), a huge perimeter threat, and Mississippi transfer DJ Jean Pierre (Barton College), an ultra aggressive guard with a high basketball IQ, will provide backcourt experience for the Majors.
“I want us to go as far as we can,” Porter said. “A lot of people think since we lost four seniors that we are going to be bad, but they’re not ready. We’re just going to be underdogs.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 59
Entering Friday’s Maryland 4A semifinal against Northwest, Paint Branch quarterback Gaston Cooper has accounted for 59 touchdowns, 37 through the air. No. 8 Paint Branch (11-1) hosts No. 9 Northwest (10-2) Friday at 7 p.m.
— Wilson linebacker Fred Anderson has taken a winding road to today’s Turkey Bowl between the Tigers and H.D. Woodson. R0man Stubbs tells his story.
— Here’s your preview of the 44th annual Turkey Bowl, where Wilson is making its first appearance in the D.C. public school championship game since 1991.
–In Virginia, No. 19 Stonewall Jackson travels to No. 2 Centreville and No. 7 Westfield heads to No. 3 Lake Braddock Saturday in Virginia 6A North semifinal action.
–In Maryland, No. 17 River Hill faces Linganore on the road and No. 13 Huntingtown hosts Franklin Friday in Maryland 3A semifinals.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
The Turkey Bowl, 11 a.m., Eastern
A year after being disqualified from the game, Wilson returns to to face H.D. Woodson in the DCIAA Stars Division championship game with a spot in the DCSAA final on the line.
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
Here are several playoff video previews to hold you over until Friday’s and Saturday’s postseason action.
No. 18 Broad Run vs. No. 4 Briar Woods in Virginia 5A North region semifinal, Friday, 1:30 p.m.
No. 7 Westfield vs. No. 4 Lake Braddock in Virginia 6A North region semifinal, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
No. 10 Meade at No. 5 Suitland in Maryland 4A semifinal, Saturday, 1 p.m.