Prep boys' basketball: Porter still in awe over appearance on SportsCenter
For Abel Porter, the moment didn't bend time or hang in the air beyond its denouement. The Davis guard had scooped the ball just beyond half court no time to check the clock and hurled it with a hopeful lunge toward the basket. What happened next was unexpected: The ball went in.
Before he could process what he'd just done or what it meant, the moment was gone, having already given way to the celebration, as Davis students swarmed the court in ecstasy.
In the following weeks, however, Porter has relived many times his improbable buzzer-beater that gave the Darts a three-point win over Olympus. After video of the shot became a local internet sensation, ESPN's SportsCenter featured it in its Top 10 as the No. 2 play, something Porter says is almost unfathomable for a local player.
"The more I think about it, the more it's just like, 'Wow, that's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I had,'" Porter said. "It's crazy to think about. I don't think it's really sunk in for me yet."
In the aftermath of his shot making SportsCenter, Porter has become a mini local celebrity. People he never has met come up to him to congratulate him on the shot. Porter's heroics, and its improbable rise to ESPN fame, was all anyone wanted to talk about last weekend at the Energy Classic in Gillette, Wyo., which the Darts won.
"People are just happy to see Utah on SportsCenter," Porter said. "I mean, that hardly happens. I think everyone has been getting excited about it."
From the moment the shot went in, everything that's followed has been a whirlwind for Porter. He knew the tape of his shot had been sent to SportsCenter, but he thought little of it. He'd never seen a local high school player on ESPN frankly, getting that type of exposure was something that didn't happen to Utah players or programs.
But then he checked his Twitter feed, where the news of him being featured on SportsCenter was just breaking. Even then, despite the amount of tweets confirming it, Porter was too stunned to be convinced.
"I didn't even believe them," Porter said. "I just thought it was never going to happen, and I didn't believe it when they told me."
When Porter finally realized it was no joke or prank and that he actually had been on SportsCenter, even his tweet testified to his shock: "Oh. My. Heck. #SCTop10."
As surprised as Porter was, he was not the only one skeptical something like that could happen to a local player. Like Porter, Darts coach Jay Welk knew the video had been submitted, but he had brushed off the possibility of the play actually airing.
He was alerted to the news the play had made the Top 10 from an unlikely source Olympus coach Matt Barnes.
"It was something to the effect of, 'Hey, I had to watch it live, and now I've got to watch it on national television,'" Welk said. "It was kind of funny."
Welk stayed up to catch the midnight showing of SportsCenter, and he's been delighted at the support from the community that has followed for Porter and the rest of the Darts.
"Initially we were all taken aback by it, a little surprised," said Welk, who noted the exposure has been good for Olympus, too. "But I think it's a real exciting thing. It's exciting, obviously, for Abel, for our team, for our community. It's very unique."