Fresno State women's team adds local commit, Demetrius Porter helps players find scholarships

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After celebrating a section title, a number of local basketball players switched their focus to their AAU season.

But with the sports season on hold due to coronavirus concerns, new efforts are being made to ensure locals still get recruited.

"You can't even go to the park now so it's a rough time for everybody," said former Bulldog Demetrius Porter.

In 2014 he started Exposure Sports, a non-profit that helps local basketball players get recruited through his AAU teams.

"In our first year out we were able to get eight girls out to Division twos and Division ones, one being Rodjanae Wade who just led the country in double doubles for UNLV," Porter said.

Today, one of his players is Joseph Hunter, a sophomore at San Joaquin Memorial, who has seen the quality of local AAU teams increase in recent years.

"It first started with Jalen," Hunter said.

If Jalen Green opened the eyes of coaches to the talent in the area, players like Hunter, Cole Anderson and AJ George have kept their attention.

"Fresno is a hotbed," said Porter. "It's one of the best kept secrets."

Porter says the benefit to an AAU season is that it's cost efficient for coaches.

In one weekend they could see 1,000 kids play versus going to one high school and seeing three to four. With that season likely gone, he's been calling coaches over the phone or making highlight tapes to make sure his players stay at the top of mind for college coaches.

"People just don't understand how tough it is on the kids right now," he said.

He says it's especially tough for high school juniors.

"This season's really important for me," said SJM junior Macie James. "Especially for all the juniors in getting that exposure."

James has offers from UCLA, San Diego and Fresno State and while she may be missing the exposure, she's not missing the Facetime calls that this dead period allows coaches to make.

"This week I've been on the phone maybe ten times (with coaches)," she said.

While it's a tough time for juniors, one local junior made a commitment on Thursday.

SJM Angela Whitfield verbally committed to play at Fresno State. The junior guard missed last year's AAU season rehabbing a torn ACL.

In that time, coach White and her staff were quick to call in to check on how she was doing in her recovery. "Chose to stay home because I have such a big family and they've always been my support system," Whitfield told ABC30.
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