Columbia native Michael Porter Jr. poured in 33 points Sunday afternoon and helped bring Kansas City its first Nike Peach Jam championship.
Porter and his MOKAN Elite AAU squad destroyed PSA Cardinals, a team from New York, 93-65 in the title game of what most consider the most prestigious tournament on the AAU circuit. In front of a standing-room-only crowd in Augusta, S.C., MOKAN, which has been to the final four of the tournament before, brought home its first-ever championship.
“It’s the biggest tournament every year you could possibly play in, and for us to be the best of the best in the whole entire country speaks volumes,” MOKAN Elite head coach Rodney Perry said in a phone interview.
Porter and Trae Young, a point guard from Norman, Okla., were selected co-MVPs. Young finished with 28 points and 11 assists, while Porter, the No. 2 overall recruit in the 2017 class, was 12 of 16 from the field and added six rebounds.
Kansas products Bryan Trimble and Derrick Walker — both now at Sunrise Christian in Wichita after previously playing at Raytown South and Raytown, respectively — played Sunday, though neither scored.
“The sky’s the limit for this squad,” Perry said. “This year is going to make our organization even more intriguing for the best players to want to come and play for us. Winning the Peach Jam is huge for that.”
MOKAN will next travel to Dallas, and then will go to Las Vegas for Chris Paul’s “The8” AAU event. Meanwhile, those on the team are still weighing college decisions.
Porter, who is still considering Missouri, is expected to make his decision in the fall, according to Perry. Porter played at Tolton Catholic in Columbia while his father, Michael Porter Sr. was an assistant women’s basketball coach for MU. But Porter Sr. left that job in May for an assistant’s position with the Washington men’s team. Washington was also in Porter Jr.’s list of final five schools.
Both Porter and Young headed to Houston right after the Peach Jam championship game. The two are finalists for spots on Team USA’s U-18 squad, and will compete in training camp this week.
“Both of them have a great chance,” Perry said. “If they play the way they played for us today, it’ll be a no-brainer.”