Decorated Warrior

Arkansas basketball signee and Little Rock Hall standout Bobby Portis (6-10, 225) - currently nursing an ankle injury - was named to the Jordan Brand Classic game on Tuesday and is expected to be named a McDonald's All-American on Thursday when rosters for that game are released.

Arkansas basketball signee Bobby Portis – a consensus top 20 player nationally - set some goals at the start of the year and they all seem to be falling into place.

Portis – a 6-10, 225-pound forward from Little Rock Hall - was selected Tuesday morning to play in the Jordan Brand Classic April 13 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

He is also expected to be named a McDonald's All-American Thursday when the roster for the April 3 game in Chicago is announced on ESPNU at 4 p.m.

"I had four goals going into this season," Portis said. "One was to win the conference title. The next was to win our fourth straight state title. The third was to be named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Arkansas.

"And the fourth was to be selected to both the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald's All-American Game," Portis said. "I'm working hard to achieve all those goals."

Portis is averaging 20.8 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.3 blocks this season for Hall and had already been named as one of just 10 players picked to play for the USA Nike Hoop Summit squad, which plays a European All-Star team April 20 in Portland, Oregon.

He recently topped the 1,000-point career scoring mark on a night when he scored inside and also nailed a trio of 3-pointers.

"It's all about hard work and my teammates," Portis said. "They put me in great position to score and then it is up to me to put the ball in the basket. I also take great pride in my rebounding and defense."

Portis is actually nursing an ankle injury that he suffered Friday in Greenwood. He already had 23 points in the third quarter when undercut on a lay-up attempt.

The Warriors (18-5) – currently in first place in the 7A/6A Central at 10-0 with Little Rock Parkview next at 9-1 – visit Little Rock Catholic Tuesday night and host Russellville on Friday night.

"I've been icing it down and elevating and I would say it is only about 40 percent right now," Portis said. "I'll just keep taking care of it, getting treatment and play when I can. I want to play on Tuesday, but I'm not sure that would be the smartest thing."

Portis and his team will be playing in the Class 6A state tournament in Greenwood on Feb. 26-March 2.

Portis – ranked 17th in the country by Scout.com – wishes he could help his future college team right now with its current road woes.

The Razorbacks (14-9, 5-5) are 14-1 at home this season and 0-8 away in road or neutral-site games.

"I can't wait to get up there and help us win games on the road just like we do at home," Portis said. "I think I can help by getting us loose in the locker room, bringing my swag to the floor and just being mentally tough coming in along with the other new guys."

Indeed Arkansas should get an injection of toughness next season with the addition of Portis, fellow big man signee Moses Kingsley (6-10, 220) of Huntington Prep (WV) and redshirting junior Alandise Harris (6-6, 230).

Arkansas would also be able to add another signee if both B.J. Young and Marshawn Powell leave as expected to play professionally next season.

"We are going to turn the corner and win on the road and home next season," Portis said. "I believe in (Arkansas head) Coach (Mike) Anderson and we are about to get Arkansas back to where it belongs."

Portis will be on the East roster for the Jordan Brand Classic that will also include Kentucky signee Aaron Harrison, unsigned standouts Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins, Florida signees Chris Walker and Kasey Hill, North Carolina signee Kennedy Meeks, Syracuse signee Tyler Ennis, Arizona signee Rondae Jefferson and Memphis signee Kuran Iverson.

The squad will have four Kentucky signees Andrew Harrison (Aaron's twin brother), Dakari Johnson, James Young and Marcus Lee; Indiana signees Troy Williams and Noah Vonleh; Duke signees Matt Jones and Jabari Parker, Kansas signee Joel Embiid, Washington signee Nigel Williams-Goss and unsigned Aaron Gordon.

The game will be televised by ESPN2.





Bobby Portis


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