University of Missouri

Missouri’s Jontay Porter to keep name in NBA Draft, ending college career

Cuonzo Martin on how Jontay Porter benefited from testing the NBA Draft waters

Missouri Tigers head coach Cuonzo Martin on how Sophomore F Jontay Porter benefited from testing the waters of the NBA Draft at SEC Media Day in Birmingham, Ala. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
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Missouri Tigers head coach Cuonzo Martin on how Sophomore F Jontay Porter benefited from testing the waters of the NBA Draft at SEC Media Day in Birmingham, Ala. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.

Missouri forward Jontay Porter will keep his name in the NBA Draft and forgo his remaining eligibility, Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed Tuesday.

The 6-foot-10 sophomore forward is currently in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine, despite recovering from two ACL tears to his right knee in the past eight months. Porter is there to meet with teams and left the door open for a possible return when he originally declared for the draft.

“We’re excited for him,” Martin said. “He made his own decision. I think it’s a great decision for him. No doubt in my mind he’ll be a part of a team whether he gets drafted or not.”

Porter’s departure marks the end of an interesting two-year span for his family after they returned from Seattle to join the program. Jontay Porter’s older brother Michael played just 53 minutes for Missouri after undergoing back surgery and sat out the past season for the Denver Nuggets after undergoing a second back surgery last summer. Michael Porter Jr. told reporters on Monday that he’s completely healthy and will play for the Nuggets in the NBA Summer League in July.

Cierra Porter, the second oldest sibling in the family, just finished a standout career for the Missouri women’s team and won the Southeastern Conference’s sixth woman of the year award.

Jontay Porter’s two knee injuries have taken a significant toll on his NBA Draft stock, after he entered the season as a projected lottery pick. Most projections have him going somewhere in the second round, where contracts aren’t guaranteed, but his versatile game fits into the league’s current style, which should still be of value to teams. Martin said depending upon where Porter is drafted, he could play his way into a starting role as either a center or power forward. The NBA Draft is June 20.

Martin said assistant coach Michael Porter Sr., who still has one year left on his contract, will remain on staff.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.
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