Following multiple injuries, Bri Porter brings skill, height

“I think we’re finally starting to see her be Bri Porter again,” Cunningham said, “and she’s going to be a very big part of our team this year.”
Missouri Tigers freshman forward Bri Porter poses for a portrait Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 at Mizzou Arena. In high school, Porter helped the Rock Bridge (Columbia) Bruins to three straight state titles.

A look at Missouri freshman forward Bri Porter’s biography is almost overwhelming.

A double major in physics and electrical engineering, Porter was ranked the No. 41 recruit by ESPN, awarded All-District honors multiple times and led her state championship Rock Bridge High School team with 61 percent shooting from the floor.

The accolades don’t run dry off the court. Porter also stands out in the classroom. She was a National Merit Scholar as well as a Rock Bridge Departmental Student of the Year, and received an AP Scholar with Distinction Award.

Porter’s intelligence transfers to basketball nicely, and senior guard, captain and self-dubbed “mother” of the team Morgan Eye admires her for that.

“I think Bri has a very high basketball IQ,” Eye said. “She’s a very finesse kind of player. She’s got a good touch on her shot, and I think she reads the floor well, so I think she’s going to be the kind of player that comes out and makes baskets when we need her to.”

Porter received offers from over five high-caliber Division I schools before committing to Missouri. She said she picked Mizzou for its combination of academics and athletics and due to the fact that her father, Michael Porter, is one of the program’s assistant coaches. Her aunt, Robin Pingeton, is the Tigers’ head coach.

But even with family ready to coach her once she suited up for the Tigers, the road to college basketball was not an easy one for Bri Porter. She tore the same anterior cruciate ligament three times, forcing her to miss a large portion of her high school career and only playing her senior year all the way through.

Michael Porter said that his daughter could dunk a tennis ball as a seventh grader. But after her injuries, he’s not sure she can still get up there.

Michael Porter said Bri has lost “a little bit of burst and explosion” from her injuries and does not believe she will be back to her full capabilities for another year.

“I think the hardest part of (being injured) was just keeping the vision and to remember why you love something when you’re out of it for so long,” Bri Porter said. “It was just hard for me to stay the course sometimes.”

Measuring in at 6-foot-3-inches, Porter is the tallest player on the 14-women roster, so she’s likely to be an important addition to the squad as long as she can stay healthy.

Sophomore guard Lindsey Cunningham, a fellow Rock Bridge alumna, played with Porter in high school. She said Porter has “one of the smoothest shots of anyone I’ve ever seen and her fundamentals make her really well-rounded.”

“I think we’re finally starting to see her be Bri Porter again,” Cunningham said. “And she’s going to be a very big part of our team this year.”

Michael Porter is excited to see what his daughter will be able to bring to the Tigers.

“I know what she was before the injuries,” Michael Porter said. “To see her slowly gain some of the physical part of her game back again excites me, because it’ll really help this team.”

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