USU’s Porter Caps Off Big Week With Buzzer Beater
LOGAN, Utah – Due to all the repetition of shooting the ball throughout his career, Utah State’s Abel Porter described an instinctive mindset when talking about his dramatic game winner at New Mexico.
“Your brain’s just blank, you don’t have anything in your head and you just hope it goes in,” said Porter a few days later. “That’s why you put in all the work, that’s why you shoot all the shots, so that when you need to shoot it without thinking, you can.”
One thing he definitely wasn’t thinking about during the shot: having to pay his own way to be on the team.
A walk-on just days before making the play of the day in the Aggies’ 68-66 victory, Porter was rewarded by head coach Craig Smith with a scholarship on the Thursday before the matchup with the Lobos on Saturday.
“He’s paid his dues,” Aggies coach Craig Smith said to the Associated Press after the win. “And he just got a scholarship this week. Isn’t that crazy? So it’s been a big week for Abel Porter.”
Days later, talking to KSL Sports’ Jeremiah Jensen about the shot, Porter was still buzzing after capping off the most exciting week in of his playing career.
“I mean it was just great, that’s what you work for as an athlete as a walk-on,” said Porter. “So just to kind of see the work kind of pay off, it was good.”
It wasn’t Porter’s first buzzer beater, however. As a star at Davis High, Porter nailed a desperation shot at the buzzer to down Olympus back in 2013.
As for which shot he prefers, it’s an easy choice.
“The Pit, by far,” laughed Porter. “That high school one was lucky, I like to think that this one was a little more skilled.”
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