Bobby Portis is the latest former Razorback to win an NBA Championship as a part of the Milwaukee Bucks. Drafted by Chicago in 2015, Portis played for the Bulls, Wizards and Knicks before landing with the Bucks.
“I worked my tail off to get to this moment. You know, in the league, you’re going to go through a lot of ups and downs,” says Portis, “You know, adversity is always gonna hit in life in general every year at some point. For me to go through everything I went through in my career, to be in this moment, to be a NBA Champion, I mean that’s fun man.”
That road was incredibly tough mentally on Portis, but having the opportunity to stay home with his family during the pandemic and finding a nurturing home in Milwaukee helped him find peace.
“Having a chance to go home with my mom and my three little brothers gave me peace again… being home and quarantined with my family really made me love the game of basketball again,” said Portis. “Being (in Milwaukee) in this great environment, this blue-collar city – having great teammates that really believe in you, having great coaches and people in the front office that really believe in you as well really brings you back down to earth.”
No one played a more important role in that peace of mind than the Milwaukee community. Portis became a fan-favorite this season for the Bucks. Every time he checked into a game, made a big play or even just walks around, the fans chant his name.
“Everywhere I go, that’s like a thing. When I go out to eat, when I go get some gas, when I’m just walking outside on a beautiful day, if I see anybody that recognizes me or knows me, they just start saying ‘Bobby, Bobby, Bobby!,’ smiled Portis. “It’s like a great feeling to have knowing I have the fan’s support here in Milwaukee. You can’t put a tab on happiness,”
Portis’ NBA Championship is the first for an Arkansas Razorback since Corliss Williamson won a ring in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons. But Portis believes this title is ushering in what will be a new wave of success for Pro Hogs in the league.
“Our team went to the Elite Eight, we had a lottery pick (on Thursday) and I won a championship this year. So I think that speaks volumes of what the Razorbacks are doing. you don’t have to go anywhere else, you can go to Arkansas and still get all your fruits of your labor by working hard to get to these points.”
And he wants Arkansas to know that he hasn’t forgotten the Razorback fans either.
“I want to thank all the fans out there that have been sticking with me my entire career. It’s been a blast. It’s the marathon that I run in this league. It’s been fun. I want to thank my friends, family… all the Razorback fans that are fans of me. Love and respect,” said Portis.
Portis announced that he is bringing back events to the state of Arkansas through the Bobby Portis Foundation. On Tuesday, he announced that his foundation is launching a weekend of events in his hometown of Little Rock.
“Being able to help others is a big part of my life, it’s one of my callings. I love to inspire the youth, I love to help out people that need it,” said Portis. “Just giving back to my community that helped raise me, help grow me and not forgetting where I come from. If I can inspire one kid where I’m, then I feel like I did my job.”
The Bobby Portis Foundation’s mission to to help aid single mothers throughout the Arkansas community. Portis, who grew up in a single mother household, knows the difficulties it presents. He hopes to serve, support and empower single mother families.
The event’s in August are sold out, however Portis is excited and ready to bring more events to Arkansas after being restricted by the Pandemic. To find out more information, you can visit the Bobby Portis Foundation website.