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Oklahoma basketball: Portia Durrett's come a long way from days as junior high benchwarmer

Junior college transfer Portia Durrett got a late start in organized basketball, and she didn't get much playing time early on. But so far at OU, she's averaging 13 minutes a game and will likely play more with the Sooners' limited roster.
by Jason Kersey Published: December 1, 2012
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— Portia Durrett has been in a similar spot before.

New city, new school, new basketball team. Learning the fundamentals while working toward increased playing time.

This time, though, Durrett isn't ordered during games to serve water to her teammates.

No. 12 Oklahoma continues its nonconference schedule Sunday at 2 p.m., when the Sooners host Marist at Lloyd Noble Center.

The continuing attrition of Oklahoma's roster — it's down to nine healthy players after Maddie Manning's ACL tear last week — means newcomers like Durrett, a junior-college transfer, will likely be needed earlier and more often than expected.

“I think she has a pretty high ceiling,” said OU coach Sherri Coale. “Right now everything's going a little too fast for her. She has to think about everything, and a hesitant athlete is a nonathlete.”

Funny, because as a little girl, Durrett learned to play basketball without restraint against older, stronger males in the park.

“Whoever played at the park, I was there,” Durrett said. “You could always catch me at the basketball court.”

But when she tried out for her sixth-grade basketball team at school, she didn't make it, despite being tall for her age.

“I just felt like I couldn't play in organized basketball,” Durrett said. “I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I basically just wanted to play on the street with the guys.”

Durrett made her seventh- and eighth-grade teams after her family moved, but she never got to play, though, instead becoming a glorified team manager.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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NO. 12 OKLAHOMA VS. MARIST

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman

TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Cox 68/HD 715)

Radio: KOKC-AM 1520, KREF-AM 1400

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