Melanie Porter and her husband, Doug, have six children and five of them play basketball. Having multiple children, playing the same sport is nothing short of crazy and exciting, Porter said.
Two of their daughters, Trishelle, a freshman, and Tristan, a sophomore, both played on the California High School girls varsity basketball team this year. Their sons, Trevor, a junior, and Trey, a senior, both played for the California boys varsity basketball team. They also have a daughter, Treagan, who is a fourth-grade basketball player for High Point.
"The worst part about having four high schoolers play basketball is the opposite practice schedules," Porter said. "It is very rare for us all to sit down at the dinner table together because someone is always at practice. It does help that most of the teenagers drive now, so I'm not running after them all the time."
Porter said the family emphasizes being supportive of one another.
"It doesn't matter what it is, if one kid is participating in something, the five other kids will be there supporting them, whether they enjoy it or not. It's just not an option in our family," Porter said. "So that is one of the biggest struggles of their different schedules, is not being able to be there to watch each other play every game. But you can bet, if they had a free night and one of their siblings was playing, they would be right there in the stands cheering them on."
"One of my proudest moments this year was when our fourth-grader played for first place in the High Point tournament on a Saturday afternoon. Our high schoolers were done with their basketball season by that point and could've been doing a number of things on a Saturday afternoon, but all of them were there in the stands cheering her on.
"They definitely owe her big time because of all the years she has spent going to all their games. We also have a 5-year-old in Trynleigh in the mix. She has been attending their games since she was 7 days old. Thankfully, she has always been amazingly good and doesn't complain about going," Porter said.
This season, Porter said there were some conflicts with having games on the same night.
"Being the mom, I felt like I needed to be there to support all of them. I hated the thought of 'divide and conquer.' One particular night, all three of their teams were playing, in three separate towns of course. I went to the High Point game and then rushed to California to watch the Pintos play, all while watching the Lady Pintos play online from my phone," Porter said. "Thankfully, my husband and I have jobs that allow us to attend all of our kids' games, whether home or away. My husband, Doug, is a self-employed farmer, and I am a stay-at-home mom and sell Scentsy as a side business."
Porter said they have been to plenty of basketball games over the recent years.
"It definitely starts to wear on all of us about mid-season when we realize how many nights we spend away from home," Porter said. "Which means eating supper on-the-go or, most of the time, going through drive-thru to get supper. My dinner meal most ballgame nights consists of a tray of nachos! There are many late nights in our household which can definitely be a challenge come morning time! Thankfully our two younger daughters are used to that lifestyle."
One of the things that Porter enjoys about basketball season is the time the family spends together.
"Some of the rides home from games aren't the most enjoyable especially after a tough loss, but I'll always cherish these days of all of us in the vehicle together," Porter said.
She also enjoys seeing the children thrive in their season and accomplish things.
"Our boys were on a competitive travel team until high school, and then they both found other things they wanted to work harder on, FFA, showing pigs, working in the tractor, running, etc. Tristan and Trishelle have been playing on a competitive basketball team for as long as I can remember. They are currently playing for Phenom, which is based out of Columbia. I drive them to Columbia three nights a week for practice. They also attend Ledbetter Academy, which is a 24-week basketball training academy. Obviously, they put in tons of time and effort, so seeing that hard work play out on the floor makes me beyond proud and happy for them," Porter said.
This year's past courtwarming was probably Porter's favorite as all of as both the boys and girls high school teams played at courtwarming.
"Courtwarming has always been my favorite night of the year, even before I had my own kids playing. But this year was probably my most favorite. Because of so many snow days and having to make up games, the varsity boys and girls played that night, when it's usually just the boys playing.
"I'm pretty sure I didn't stop smiling that night because I got to watch all four of our high schoolers play on the same court on the same night. And to top it off, Tristan was nominated courtwarming princess! I've always looked forward to the day that all four of our older kids would be playing high school basketball at the same time, so to have that experience made this mama heart happy," Porter said.