Jontay Porter, a once-projected first-round NBA Draft pick, re-tore the same ACL that held him out of his sophomore season at Missouri, according to the Kansas City Star. The second tear of his right ACL happened while working out in Denver. Porter originally tore the ligament in October during a scrimmage against Southern Illinois.
This is devastating for one of college basketball’s best talents from a season ago, who has pro aspirations. It also adds to the injury-riddled collegiate careers for Missouri’s top recruits named Porter.
Porter is the younger brother of Michael Porter Jr., who was selected No. 14 overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2018 draft. Jontay reclassified and missed his senior season of high school to play with his brother at Mizzou, though the pair only teamed up for three games together due to Michael’s back injury, which nearly cost him his entire college career.
Jontay, a 6’11 big who averaged 10 points and seven rebounds on 36 percent three-point shooting in his freshman season, went to the NBA draft combine in 2018, but ultimately returned to school. He might regret that choice for reasons he could’ve never foreseen.
This is sucks so, so badly
This sucks for Mizzou. This sucks for the team’s fans. But most importantly, it sucks for Jontay, who some believed could’ve been a first-round pick this season despite the initial ACL tear. A strong, tall, shooting big with solid court vision, he projects to be an NBA player. Some team would’ve taken a chance on him.
But now he’ll be injured during the 2019 draft combine. Will any team want to take a player who hasn’t been seen on the floor for a regular season game in more than a year? His hand might be forced to stay at Mizzou.
Jontay hasn’t officially announced that he’ll enter the draft, and he still has two months to make that decision. But even if he does go back to school, he isn’t likely to return on time. Historically, ACL injuries take 9-12 months to recover from.
This isn’t it for Porter, though
Whatever his decision, Porter has age on his side. With his reclassification, he became one of the youngest players in his grade. Porter won’t turn 20 until November.
Should Porter opt to develop through the G League or at Mizzou another season, he’ll get another chance. This won’t be the last we hear from him. Plenty of athletes have recovered from ACL injuries.