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Excerpt: Bobby Portis Discusses His Ex-Coach Corliss Williamson

Bobby Portis, the best big man out of Arkansas since his former AAU coach Corliss Williamson, opens up about his life.

Arkansas' last elite post high school player taught the next one.
Arkansas' last elite post high school player taught the next one.
Ethan Miller

The Arkansas prep basketball scene has produced some good big men since Corliss Williamson's Russellville heyday in the early 1990s. Guys like Kim Adams, Vincent Hunter and Michael Washington come to mind.

But no Arky big man since Big Nasty has come close to McDonald's All-American status.

That changes with LR Hall senior Bobby Portis, one of the nation's best centers and an Arkansas signee. Portis, who has the national cachet to be Arkansas' next McDonald's All-American, told me about how he learned the game under Corliss in this Sports Seer Q&A:

He taught me a lot. But then he moved on to coach UCA and couldn’t coach us [in AAU] anymore. Then I started working out with Marcus McCarroll. He’s in athletic trainer here in Little Rock, and he’s also a part of the Wings. He really helped improve my post game.

... Growing up, my mom and family always talked about the Razorbacks. That’s all I ever really heard. When I played the Xbox, I would always choose the Razorbacks. When I played with Corliss Williamson, I would go to his house and see all the Razorback gear he had and stuff like that.

In the Q&A, Portis also discusses his outrageously colored sneakers and what would happen if Hall's Tyler Scaife, the No. 1 prep female PG in the nation, played with the boys.

Freelancer Evin Demirel has written about Arkansas athletes for SLAM, the New York Times and ESPN. Follow him here.