Otto Porter Jr. has yet to play in an NBA game, but he’s already getting the royal treatment from his roots.
Porter Jr., the No. 3 pick in June's NBA Draft, will officially have his high school jersey retired at an August ceremony at Sikeston (Mo.) Scott County Central. Porter Jr., who wore number 22 at both Scott County Central and Georgetown, will become just the fourth player in school history to have his jersey retired.
While that’s an impressive accomplishment, it’s the second part of the August 16th dedication to Porter Jr. that is more groundbreaking, or ground-naming, as the case may be. According to Missouri CBS affiliate KFVS, Scott County Central will also re-name the gymnasium floor after Porter Jr. as well, making it the Otto Porter Jr. Court at Ronnie Cookson Gymnasium.
The attention befalling Porter Jr. comes on the heels of his historic season, where the now-former Hoya was named Big East Conference Player of the Year and became the highest drafted player in Southeast Missouri history. According to USA Today, Porter Jr.’s Georgetown coach, John Thompson III, is expected to be among the basketball dignitaries who attend the court dedication ceremony.
Yet it’s both instructive and important to note that it will be called Otto Porter Jr. Court, and not just Otto Porter court. That’s because Porter Jr. isn’t even the first Otto Porter to have his jersey retired by Scott County Central. The elder Otto Porter, Porter Jr.’s father, also had his jersey number 35 retired following his own stellar career at the school between 1972 and 1976.
To have half of the retired numbers from one school be supplied by a single family is impressive. That they’re both inspired by athletes with the first name Otto? That’s a significantly more remarkable coincidence.