OGDEN — The college basketball career of former Bonneville High player Cortney Porter is coming full circle.
Now a senior at the Air Force Academy and team captain for the women’s basketball team, Porter’s Falcons make a stop at home to square off against Weber State on Saturday afternoon at the Dee Events Center.
It will be the third time Porter has played against the Wildcats, but the first in Ogden.
“I’m really excited. There’s some family and friends that haven’t seen me play since I’ve been in college, so it’s good to have them get the opportunity,” she said.
“I always wanted to play in college against Weber State at Weber State. I went to their games when I was in high school, I went to their camp in high school and I just wanted to come back and play there.”
Porter’s time at Air Force has been trying, to say the least.
The Falcons have won a total of seven games since her freshman year and are looking for their first win of this season.
Instead of looking for a way out amid the turmoil, Porter stuck with her team and has already left her mark as Air Force’s career leader in steals and assists.
A team captain, Porter is the third leading scorer with 9.6 points per game this season and grabs the second-most rebounds at 5.3 per game — on top of leading the team in steals and assists.
“We’re trying to build a new culture,” Porter said. “It’s been pretty hard. I know I might not see all the benefits from it, but the culture will continue to grow over the next few years ... Between the last three years, we’ve competed better, we’ve worked harder and we have a better mindset, one we can compete with.”
In the team’s six-point rivalry loss to Army on Dec. 2, Porter scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished five assists.
Head coach Chris Gobrecht is in her third season in the control tower for the Falcons and sees Porter as a driving force behind the culture change.
The results have not yet manifested themselves in wins, but the team is more competitive, having lost several games in the final moments this year as opposed to losing consistently by double figures in years past.
“She probably has come as far as any player I’ve ever coached in her career, in terms of the growth of her game and working so hard to be the kind of player that we want to model the culture that we’re trying to build,” Gobrecht said. “I think that we’re always going to reflect back on Cortney having a significant role in the development of the program. There’s no question.”
The season is still young and Gobrecht hopes to send Porter and two other seniors off in style.
“There’s nothing I want more than to see some wins happen for those guys,” she said. “This year we’ve been competitive darn near every single time. Now, we’ve just got to learn how to close games. That’s all part of the process. You get close and then you break through.
“I just want us to break through this year ... I do think that we’re going to build something special, and it’s going to be on their blood sweat and tears.”
Porter will reflect on her time at Air Force fondly, despite a lack of victories.
“It’s flown by so fast. Sometimes I don’t believe that I’m a senior and this is my last year,” Porter said. “It hasn’t totally hit me yet, but it’s been a great journey and I’ve loved every minute of it.”