Basketball roots run deep in the family of Missouri basketball star Michael Porter Jr. Both of his parents are heavily involved with the game and several of his brothers and sisters also play at the collegiate level.
Michael’s father, Michael Porter Sr., is currently on the men’s basketball staff in Missouri, coaching his son. Michael Jr. perhaps gets the bulk of his basketball skills from his mother, who played professionally overseas and was a high school and collegiate star in Iowa.
Michael’s parents are just one of many basketball branches on the Porter family tree.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Michael’s Father Is An Assistant Coach At Missouri
Porter Sr. joined the Mizzou coaching staff just in time for son’s arrival on campus in 2017, but he’s no stranger to Columbia. After spending the 2016-17 season coaching at the University of Washington, Porter Sr. worked for several years on both the men’s and women’s basketball staffs at Missouri. From 2011-13 he also served as Mizzou’s Director of Basketball Operations and was in charge or organizing practices and individual workouts.
Despite his impressive basketball resume, Porter Sr. says he didn’t push his children to take up the game when they were young. “I tell my kids all the time, I couldn’t care less if they played basketball, and I mean that from my heart,” Michael Sr. told the Columbia Daily Tribune. “I love that they play, because Lisa and I played and we love this game, but we are way more concerned about the people they become than being great basketball players.”
2. His Mother Was A Professional Basketball Player
Despite Michael Jr.’s prowess on the court, his mother might be the best scorer in the family. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Lisa Becker averaged 58.7 points a game for Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School in 1983. Lisa went on to play for the University of Iowa and then professionally in France.
“Fifty-eight points a game my senior year, my kids can’t get that,” she told The Gazette. Becker also had an outstanding collegiate career at Iowa, scoring a total of 1,335 points and helping lead the Hawkeyes to their first Big Ten women’s basketball title and the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
3. Michael Has Seven Brothers & Sisters
Pretty much all of them play basketball in some capacity, which is no surprise if you consider who their parents are. The list of siblings includes Michael Jr., Jontay, Cobin, Bri, Jayda, Isaak, Lisa, Jevon and Cierra.
Jontay and Michael Jr. are teammates together on the Mizzou men’s basketball roster while Bri and Cierra are teammates on the women’s team.
4. His Aunt is Missouri Women’s Basketball Head Coach Robin Pingeton
All roads with the Porter family lead back to Columbia. Michael’s mother Lisa is the sister of Pingeton, who has been the head coach of the Mizzou women’s basketball program since 2010. Since Pingeton’s arrival in Columbia she has won the conference coach of the year award and regular season conference championship three times. Pingeton has also won two conference tournament titles.
Like her sister, Pingeton also played college basketball, but not at the Division I level. She graduated St. Ambrose University, an NAIA school in Iowa, in 1990 as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,502 points. Pingeton was a two-sport athlete and earned All-American honors in basketball and softball. Two years after graduating, Pingeton began her coaching career at her alma mater and helped lead the Bees to five NAIA National Tournaments, including Elite Eight berths in 1996 and 2000. In 2000, Pingeton was named the NAIA Kodak District Coach of the Year.
Pingeton and her husband, Rich, have two sons, Blake and Zach. She enjoys spending her spare time with family on their boat and playing golf.
5. Michael Porter Sr. Also Played Collegiate Basketball
Porter Sr. is definitely a basketball lifer. According to his Mizzou bio, he was a four-year member of the University of New Orleans men’s basketball team, graduating in 1989. He also played at the professional level for five seasons with Athletes in Action (AIA), competing around the country and world spreading spiritual guidance.
His coaching career began in 2003 when he served as the head coach of Upward Basketball. In that role, Porter Sr. worked with young athletes in building skills both on and off the court.