Michael Porter Jr. is three days away from playing his first official college basketball game at the University of Missouri, but already he’s earned All-American honors.
Porter, who led Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School to the 2017 Class 3A state championship, was one of five players named Monday to the Associated Press preseason All-America men’s basketball team. He was joined on the five-member squad by Michigan State sophomore Miles Bridges, Notre Dame senior Benzie Colson, Arizona junior Allonzo Trier and Villanova junior Jalen Brunson.
The 6-foot-10 Porter earned 30 votes from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly AP Top 25 poll, making him the fifth freshman to make the preseason AP All-America team — joining North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins, Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and LSU’s Ben Simmons.
Porter originally signed with the University of Washington, but was released from his NCAA letter of intent when head coach Lorenzo Romar was fired at the end of last season.
“I feel there’s a lot of people that would like to be in my situation,” Porter said. “But I try to stay grounded, stay humble and realize I’m nowhere near where I want to get to, so I just have to take all the attention with a grain of salt and just keep getting better and better.”
Bridges was the leading vote-getter on the preseason All-America team by a wide margin. He received 61 votes, 14 more than Colson. Trier received 39 votes and Brunson 33.
North Carolina senior Joel Berry II, last year’s Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four, was the top vote-getter who missed the squad. Berry, who received 25 votes, is recovering from a broken bone in his hand that could sideline him for the start of the season.
Duke senior Grayson Allen, a preseason AP All-American last season, received 20 votes.