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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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“Basically, just sit on the bench,” she remembers of her junior-high hoops experience.

“Get water, help your teammates out. Cheer them on.

“I think about that every day. I've come a long way.”

Durrett focused on honing her skills upon entering high school in Seneca, Ky., and things began to come easier. But she still benefited from her years of playing less-organized basketball in the park.

“That definitely made me tough,” Durrett said. “Going into high school, it definitely opened my eyes. I got a chance to play with bigger guys, and that helped me handle the bigger, stronger girls.”

Because she got a late start in organized basketball, she was never recruited very heavily by bigger, four-year schools as a high schooler.

Instead, she headed to Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tenn., to begin her collegiate career.

Durrett averaged 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds last season, earning first-team All-American honors while leading her team to a top-10 national ranking.

So far at Oklahoma, she's playing about 13 minutes a game, averaging 5 points.

“Her level of instruction at the junior-college level was very, very good, but she had so much to learn coming in, and really didn't have any idea how talented she could be and where her game could take her,” Coale said.

“She got to junior college and began to figure that out, and has just scratched the surface of what she can do.”

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

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