On Wednesday, Michael Porter Jr was awarded the Gatorade State Player of the Year award, a prestigious accolade given to the top HS prospect in the nation. But that isn’t the only reason why he made headlines (and trended on Twitter) today. After Washington fired his godather Lorenzo Romar last week, where Porter Jr had previously committed to play next season, rumors began spreading that Porter would back away from his commitment to the Huskies and would potentially look to return to Columbia, MO, his hometown, and play for Missouri.
On Wednesday, he publicly commented on the possibilities of that happening. And well, based on the way he spoke, it sounded very, very possible. He told the St. Louis Dispatch:
“To be able to go back (to Columbia), I know those Mizzou fans are hungry — and I’ve been shown a lot of love from Mizzou fans. It could be something real, real special just to come home and do my thing there, it would special.”
The connections between Porter and Mizzou run deep, after all. His two older sisters play for the women’s basketball team. His aunt, his mother’s sister, is the head coach of the women’s team. His father was an assistant coach for the women’s team for four years until last season, when Romar offered Michael Porter Sr an assistant coaching position at Washington and the family ultimately relocated to Seattle. And prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest last summer, Porter Jr had lived his entire life in Columbia, MO, which is home to Mizzou’s campus. And to add more fuel to the speculations, there were reports last week that Mizzou’s new head coach, Cuonzo Martin, had offered Porter Sr an assistant coaching position with the men’s program.
But according to today’s report in the St. Louis Dispatch, his father hasn’t accepted any position with the program (yet). Porter Jr did clarify, though, that his dad did in fact recently meet with Martin, who resigned from his head coach position at California a couple of weeks ago. And Porter Jr had nothing but positive things to say of the newly hired coach.
Asked about coach Martin, Porter Jr. said: “I didn’t know his name before he went to Mizzou, but once he went there, I saw it all over social media. It turns out coach Romar knew him really well, and my dad knows who he was, and my dad went to meet with him. And I trust my dad. He said Cuonzo’s a great guy, he’s a winner, he has a competitiveness to him, so I’ve heard all great things about him.”
Porter Jr. said he shook Martin’s hand when Martin recently met with Porter Sr. — but he couldn’t speak with the coach because of recruiting rules.