University of Missouri

Top basketball recruit Michael Porter Jr. commits to Washington instead of MU, other finalists

Michael Porter Jr. helped Columbia Father Tolton Catholic win the Missouri Class 3 state title in March but will play for a school in Seattle this year.
Michael Porter Jr. helped Columbia Father Tolton Catholic win the Missouri Class 3 state title in March but will play for a school in Seattle this year. File photo

Michael Porter Jr., one of the top high school basketball recruits in the nation and a Columbia, Mo., native, confirmed a forgone conclusion Friday on his Twitter page — his college destination won't be Missouri.

Porter, a 6-foot-9 forward ranked No. 2 in his class, instead committed to Washington on Friday, the presumptive favorite after Porter's father joined the Huskies coaching staff under Lorenzo Romar earlier this year.

Porter and his younger brother Jontay, also a Washington commit, moved from Columbia to Seattle this summer, where Porter will play his high school senior season.

In March, they led Father Tolton Catholic to the Missouri Class 3 state championship in a thrilling game against Barstow that featured five Division I commits or signees. Father Tolton prevailed 62-60, with Porter scoring 31 points and pulling down 19 rebounds.

Porter had listed Missouri, Indiana, Virginia and Oklahoma as his final choices after initially also considering Kansas. The website NBAdraft.net projects him as the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

A year ago, he was the second recruit from Missouri in as many seasons to receive a top-five ranking in his class from Rivals.com. Chaminade (St. Louis) forward Jayson Tatum, the national Gatorade Athlete of the Year, will attend Duke this fall. Both opted to leave the state.

"I feel blessed about (the recruiting process)," Porter told The Star during an interview in January, when Father Tolton played in the Best of Midwest Showcase at Johnson County Community College. "Not every kid gets to grow up like this."

His father, Michael Porter Sr., had been on the Missouri women's coaching staff before joining Romar at Washington. On Friday, his son followed.

"My dad told me it was the best place for me to get to the next level," Porter Jr. told ESPN. "I made it clear I wanted to be one-and-done if possible, and he told me it was an ideal spot to do that. I trust my dad and I trust Coach Romar."

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