Jontay Porter reclassifies, joining Mizzou this year
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri announced Wednesday that prep basketball standout Jontay Porter has reclassified and signed as part of first-year coach Cuonzo Martin’s 2017 recruiting class.
The 6-11, 240-pound forward joins his older brother and father for what will be one of the most highly anticipated seasons in years in Columbia. Porter, who recently completed his junior season in Seattle, averaged 14.3 points and 13.6 rebounds per game for undefeated Nathan Hale High School.
“We’re very excited about Jontay’s decision, which was a big one for him and his family,” Martin said. “He has the skill and knowledge of the game to contribute from day one, at both ends of the floor.”
Porter’s father, Michael Porter Sr., was hired by Martin as an assistant in March. His older brother, Michael Porter Jr., then signed with the Tigers after initially committing to Washington. The Porter brothers won a Missouri state high school championship in 2016 before combining to win another state title in Washington this season.
Michael Porter was the nation’s No. 1 recruit this offseason. The 6-foot-10 Porter initially chose Washington last year when his father worked as an assistant for then-coach Lorenzo Romar. But when Romar was fired, Porter’s father was hired by the Tigers, and the talented forward soon made a verbal commitment. He averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds as a senior at Nathan Hale last season, quickly becoming one of the nation’s most sought-after recruits and a potential NBA lottery pick in 2018.
The Porter family has deep ties to Missouri that extend beyond his father. Older sisters Bri and Cierra play for the women’s basketball program, which is coached by their aunt, Robin Pingeton.
The Tigers went 8-23 last season, leading to the firing of Kim Anderson after three seasons in charge. The once-proud program hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2013, and hasn’t made it out of the opening weekend since Mike Anderson took Missouri to the Elite Eight during the 2008-09 season.
Martin, who grew up in East St. Louis and began his head coaching career at Missouri State, has brought a renewed energy to the program.