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.
NORMAN — 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.
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
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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