CHICAGO – Michael Porter Jr. doesn’t need any reminders that he and his No. 1 ranked Nathan Hale (Seattle) squad won’t lace ‘em up at the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals in New York come Thursday; Porter is getting a constant and unsolicited memos from his teammates at the McDonald’s All American Game this week in Chicago.
Porter was named the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Basketball Player of the Year on Tuesday.
“P.J. (Washington) and Jaren (Jackson) are staying in my ear,” Porter said with a laugh. “They keep saying we didn’t want to play in the game because we didn’t want to lose, but, like I tell them, no one beat us all year.”
Both Washington, who plays for Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), and Jackson, from La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), will be competing in New York.
Ultimately, the Raiders decided not to play in the DICK’s Nationals after a team meeting, despite having the OK from their state association.
“I’ve thought about playing in it while being here at McDonald’s just because there are guys here that are leaving here and going to play in it and, of course, they keep reminding me that we’re not in it,” said Porter, who recently committed to Missouri after receiving a release from Washington. “I’ve made my peace with it. We’re not playing in it, but that doesn’t take away from our season. We accomplished a lot.”
Porter scored 27 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead Nathan Hale to the 68-51 state title win over Garfield (Seattle) on March 4. It was Porter’s second state title in as many years and states. He led Father Tolton Catholic (Columbia, Mo.) to the state title last year before moving to Seattle.
“If people want to call another team the national champs that’s OK,” Porter said. “We played 29 games and we didn’t lose any of them. If someone could’ve beat us they would have. We played tough teams, ranked teams and we didn’t lose. We finished No. 1. Like I said, I feel like we’ve proved a lot.”
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