VAUGHT: Q&A with Gary Porter, Part 1

Gary Porter, the father of Kentucky sophomore guard Michael Porter, made the the trip from California last week to watch his son play. Gary Porter is the coach at Modesto High School where he coached former UK star Chuck Hayes, who now starts for the Houston Rockets. This is the first of a four-part series with him.

Question: How big a deal was it to you — a veteran high school coach — to actually be in Rupp Arena when your son made his first two collegiate starts for Kentucky?

Porter: "It gave me chills. I was a little surprised because he didn't tell me anything. I expected him to do well, but not start this early. I got chills.

"Just when you come here brings out the excitement. Then the fireworks go off. Then all of a sudden you say, ‘That is my son,' and the dad in you kicks in. When the game starts, the coach in you kicks back in."

Question: Do you go between watching as a dad and coach as the game progresses?

Porter: "When I had my first son, it was harder because I constantly coached him at home. Then Michael came along and we kind of made a deal that I would never tell him anything after a game. I would wait until the next day. Even now he will ask what I think and I will tell him a few pointers.

"But he pretty much has the game down and he is figuring out what his coach wants. That's the first thing I tell him. ‘Go figure out everything you can about Coach (Billy Gillispie) and see what he wants from you.'"

Question: Doesn't Michael seem like a perfect fit for what Billy Gillispie says he wants in a player?

Porter: "If you go back and read anything about Billy, he is consistently on the same page. It never changes. This is a good opportunity for Michael. What he likes is that they don't know who is going to start until it happens. He likes that because it keeps everybody working hard. I think he has a chance to at least contribute if he works hard, and that's nice."

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