Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Portis relieved to finally be a Hog
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/KAREN E. SEGRAVE --11/16/12-- Bobby Portis signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Arkansas on Friday. Hall High School signed three seniors on Friday to play college basketball.
LITTLE ROCK It was an emotional time for Little Rock Hall power forward Bobby Portis and his coach Jon Coleman when the national ranked prospect signed his national letter of intent with Arkansas on Friday.
Portis, 6-9 1/2, 220 pounds paused several times while signing and looked to get emotional at times after reflecting on his journey. Prior to Portis' signing, Coleman spoke and became teary eyed and had difficulty with his words while describing his pride in seeing Portis have his big day.
"We spend a lot of time with our athletes and we call it our basketball family," said Coleman in describing his emotions. "So when you them do well it's like seeing your own child do well. it's just makes you feel good and obviously we're all feeling good around here today. The icing on the cake is the fact he's going to the university. That's my alumni mater. So I'm excited about that."
Portis, who's rated by ESPN as the No. 11 and No. 5 power forward in the nation, said he remembers thinking back to former Little Rock Parkview forward Aaron Ross and others signing national letters of intent and hoping he could do the same.
"I was like dang, I want that to be me one day," Portis said. "Now it's finally me and it's like crazy. It's like a dream. "
Coleman recalls the first time he saw the lanky Portis in grade school.
"It's kind of ironic, the first time I saw Bobby he was running the mile and he was going to Rockefeller elementary," Coleman said. "I saw this long sixth grader beating everybody in the mile. Then I saw him again as a eighth grader and then as a ninth grader he appeared at Hall. I was very excited. I didn't know he was going to grow to be 6-10. That helps everything."