Terry Porter spends an afternoon in Camas

Ten-year Portland Trail Blazer announces basketball games and signs autographs at Liberty Middle School

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Terry Porter delivered a big assist to Camas Tuesday.

The 10-year Portland Trail Blazer spent three hours at Liberty Middle School announcing the Hoops for Heart basketball games between the students and faculty, and signing autographs whenever he could.

“It’s always fun for me to get into the community,” Porter said. “Basketball plays such an important part in my life. I get to meet people I never imagined in my wildest dreams.”

Event organizer Jamie Moore, a health and fitness instructor at Liberty, said the school partners with the American Heart Association through Hoops for Heart.

“March Madness is the culminating event that teaches our students the importance of heart health, exercise, nutrition and living tobacco free while having a great time playing basketball,” she said.

The last time Porter visited Camas, Liberty Middle School was still the old Camas High School. He was shocked to hear that the city is now home to close to 20,000 residents.

“I’m excited to be here, but I don’t think any of these kids saw me play,” Porter said. “They might have to go home and ask mom and dad who I am.”

Portland selected Porter as the 24th pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. He helped the Blazers reach the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992, and was a two-time All-Star in 1991 and 1993. He is the franchise leader with 5,319 assists. His No. 30 jersey was retired by the organization on Dec. 16, 2008.

The young Lions appreciated the time Porter spent at their school, and hearing his voice every time they made a big play on the court.

“It was great to see the enthusiasm from the students and faculty,” Porter said. “This is what March Madness is all about, competing and having fun.”

Read more in the Tuesday, March 22 print edition of the Post-Record.