It can be a memorable experience for a parent to watch a child play for a district high school championship. For the Porters, it will be twice as nice this weekend.
It's highly unusual for a brother and sister act to play for WPIAL or City League basketball championships in the same year. But that's exactly what the children of Darelle and Michelle Porter will do.
The Porter run for championships starts tonight when Michaela Porter plays for the Obama Academy girls team against Allderdice in the title game. Michaela, a 5-foot-10 freshman, starts at forward.
She will hand the championship baton off to her brother Saturday afternoon. D.J. Porter, a 6-foot-5 senior, averages more than 20 points a game for Obama, who takes on Allderdice in the boys' title game.
"It means a lot to them. They're pumped and ready," said Darelle Porter, a former Pitt player who also was the head coach at Duquesne University for three years.
Darelle Porter will be front and center for the girls game. He is a volunteer assistant coach for the Obama girls team. His day-time job is working with special needs children in Pittsburgh Public Schools and he also is heavily involved with Ozanam, an organization that runs basketball leagues as well as cultural and academic programs for inner-city youth.
Darelle Porter knows a thing or two about winning City League championships. He won two as a player -- one at Brashear in 1985 and one at Perry in 1987 after transferring. The 1985 Brashear team also had legendary City League athlete Major Harris.
"We had more schools in the City League back then and more people lived in the city," Darelle Porter said. "But I think for these kids, it probably still means just as much as to when we won it because these kids weren't even born yet. They don't know what it was like.
"Winning championships, no matter when, is always nice."
While Darelle Porter's son has been playing basketball since a young age, dad wasn't sure Michaela would be a basketball player.
"She was into cheering and other things when she was younger. Her mom didn't really want her in athletics," Darelle Porter said. "Then she started playing later in elementary school. If you ask her now, she'd say she is a basketball player."
But it might not be easy for either Porter to grab a championship. The Obama and Allderdice girls split two meetings this year. The Obama boys beat Allderdice twice but once by only 68-65.