Michael Porter Jr. verbally commits to Missouri

Porter Jr., whom ESPN deemed the No. 1 recruit in the 2017 class nationwide, will come back to Columbia.
Michael Porter Jr. Courtesy of espn.com

Michael Porter Jr., the No. 1 basketball recruit in the class of 2017 nationwide and a Columbia native, announced Friday that he has verbally committed to Missouri.

Porter Jr. was previously committed to Washington, but when the school fired Lorenzo Romar, Porter Jr.’s godfather, Porter said in a tweeted statement on Friday that he took a week to decide his plans.

Washington released Porter Jr., a high school senior, from his national letter of intent this week. Once the Tigers announced that Michael Porter Sr. would join the men’s basketball coaching staff Thursday, it seemed likely that Porter Jr. would follow his father back to Columbia.

Ultimately, he decided to head home to Columbia, where his sisters, Bri and Cierra Porter, play for the women’s basketball team.

“I’m looking forward to the year ahead with Coach Cuonzo [Martin] and my new teammates,” Porter Jr. said. “Together we hope to restore the atmosphere at Mizzou Arena.”

The Tigers hired Martin earlier this month as their 19th men’s basketball coach, opening up an opportunity for Porter Jr. to return to Missouri.

Porter Jr., who was named Gatorade National Player of the Year this week, won a Washington state championship with Nathan Hale High School this spring.

Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips signaled his approval of Porter Jr.’s decision, sending out this tweet shortly after Porter Jr.’s announcement.

Edited by George Roberson | groberson@themaneater.com

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