Black History Month: NBA All-Star Terry Porter remembers time at UW-Stevens Point

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Former Pointer Standout, NBA veteran, and college basketball coach Terry Porter remembers how his athletic career got its start at UW-Stevens Point.

The UWSP and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Famer says his time at UWSP shaped him into who he is today.

“Obviously every situation is different,” Porter said, “but I think college prepares you for the rest of your life.”

As a Milwaukee native, the move to Stevens Point was an adjustment for Porter.

“It was quite an adventure to go up to the middle the state,” he explained, “and kind of figure out where Stevens Point was and what the campus was like what the city was like. That was kind of a little bit different.”

He says he was also one of few minority students on the campus at the time, which was different from Milwaukee, but the university’s diversity center provided a safe space for him and other students of color.

“We had weekly meetings with minority kids,” he said. “We talked about academics, life and just tried to make sure that we were connected. All the kids of color on campus knew each other and we had a bond.”

Porter says he credits the coaching staff of his time at UWSP (1981-1985), including head basketball coach Dick Bennett, for his success in his athletic career.

“The core principles that he talked so much about for us as a team really helped me when I got to the NBA,” he explained, “about playing within myself and knowing who I was and understanding the world of being a professional athlete.”

Now, Porter gives back to UWSP in several ways, including donating directly to the athletic department and to students who also come from Milwaukee.

“It’s called the Milwaukee Scholarship Program,” Porter said, “It’s for kids that come from Milwaukee Public Schools and they want to end up going to Stevens Point, so I provide a scholarship for them.”

He says he’s grateful to be in a position that allows him to donate to the university.

“It was a no-brainer to go back and try to provide and give to the kids a little bit more than what I had when I was there.”

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