Huntingon Prep head coach Rob Fulford talks about the progress made by and early season performance…
Arkansas Lands 5-star Portis
Little Rock Hall's Bobby Portis (6-10, 220)- a five-star prospect and one of the nation's top 16 players in 2013 per Scout.com – officially signed his letter of intent with the Razorbacks on Friday afternoon.
Portis joins Arkansas Wings' AAU teammate Moses Kingsley (6-10, 220) – who signed with Arkansas Thursday – to give the Razorbacks' the nation's 11th rated class per Scout.com.
"It feels good to finally get the pressure off of me and make it official," Portis said. "Since the day I committed, I had a bunch of people on me to go to this school or that school, but I stayed with it because my dream was to be a Razorback. I wanted to stay in state with the fan support and the atmosphere. It is all pretty cool."
Portis chose Arkansas over Florida, Memphis, Baylor and Kansas among others - the latter two that continued to chase him until the day he signed with the Razorbacks.
"I want to give credit to God, who without none of this would have been possible," Portis said.
Portis, who is ranked as the 11th best prospect in the country by ESPN.com, will be trying to lead Little Rock Hall to its fourth straight state title this season.
"Bobby Portis is one of the best skill forwards in the country," Anderson said. "He is a perfect fit for our program and has the ability to be an impact player. For a player of his size, he can score, defend, has the versatility to play inside and out, has a high motor, runs the floor, rebounds and is a proven winner. I love his passion, basketball IQ, leadership qualities and his work ethic is second to none.
"The unique thing about Bobby is that even with all the attention, he is still a very humble kid," Anderson said. "He will do the right things both on and off the court and is a big family guy. As a staff, we are excited to see this day come and are happy to have him join the Razorback family."
Portis said that Anderson made it clear what he is looking for in the players he is bringing into the program.
"Coach Anderson told me that he wants to be bring in great players and great kids and have a great program that can go win a national championship," Portis said. "He wants to do everything the right way on and off the floor."
He averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks last season and then teamed with Kingsley to lead the Wings to the 17-and-under AAU national championship this summer.
The offensively-minded Portis is excited about playing alongside the defensive-minded, shot-blocking Kingsley in college.
"We are real cool and he is like my best friend," Portis said. "I think me and Moses put together is like crazy. What I can do, he can't do. What he can do, I can't do. So we just play off of each other and play hard."
Friday was Kingsley's birthday.
"He was all happy about signing," Portis said when asked about a Thursday night call to the other twin tower. "Today was his birthday so that made it even better for him."
Portis started for most of his sophomore season before being bench for the final 12 games, something that truly pushed him to become one of the nation's top players.
"In the tenth grade, I started the first 20 games and then in the next 12 games, I didn't play that much," Portis said. "That pushed me to work hard and try to be good. I didn't get no PT (playing time) so what could I do but go to work. I just started working hard and now look at me. Woo Pig Sooie."
Little Rock Hall head coach Jon Coleman has watched his young star grow off and on the court.
"He is a great ambassador for our school and our student athletes and I know that he is going to continue that at the University of Arkansas," Coleman said. "...Even while receiving numerous accolades and honors during the process, Bobby has remained humble. It is a pleasure to have your best player be your hardest worker on the team. He sets the standard not only on the court, but in the classroom."
Portis committed to Arkansas back in August of 2011 and never waivered in his pledge to be a Razorback.
"I think my game will translate good to Fayetteville because I am a leader and I can make my teammates better," Portis said. "I think that is what I do the best."
Hall opens it season Tuesday night at Southaven, Miss.
The Warriors will also play in three showcase tournaments early in the season beginning with the Rumble on the Ridge in Forrest City over Thanksgiving.
Hall will also be facing Memphis White Station in the Border on the Battle in Little Rock on Dec. 1 and then play in the Jammin' for Jackets event Dec. 6-8 in Little Rock.
Portis thinks that having his signing out of the way will help him in the quest for the school's fourth straight title. "I think it will let me focus," Portis said. "Because I think if I had signed later, I would have my mind on the schools that would still be calling me. Now I am focused on just the season."
• • •
Two other Hall athletes signed on Friday with Lady Warriors Tyler Scaife (Rutgers) and Kaitlyn Weber (Missouri State) also inking their letter of intents.
Scaife, the state's top girls player, chose Rutgers over Tennessee and Ohio State.
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