Tristan Porter was a staple member of the California Pintos girls basketball team this year, culminating in an all-state honor, and she still has one more year to continue finding success.
Porter, a junior, was named to the Class 3 girls All-State team on March 25 after helping her team climb to a record of 21-6 on the year. She led the team in points per game with 14.8, three-pointers made with 54, three-point percentage with 33.1 percent, assists with 77, free throws made and free throw percentage at 78.2 percent, and steals with 44. Porter also added MVP honors at the California and Hermann tournaments.
Porter said when she started playing basketball several years ago, she set many goals. She said many of those goals have come true, but making all-state had a different feeling.
"All I could do was smile, and I was honestly speechless," Porter said. "It felt so good to know that all the hard work I've put in got me here, and that all of my goals can be achieved if I keep working."
Being named to the all-state team was a dream come true for her, Porter said, and a clear sign her hard work on and off the court is paying off.
"To me, it means I have some of the greatest teammates, coaches, family, community and support system out there," Porter said. "Because I know without them there was absolutely no way I would have ever achieved this, and I thank them for that."
Porter said she has been playing basketball since she was five years old. She said since then, she's always known basketball would be something she'd enjoy forever and put her heart into every day.
For Porter, there are many reasons why she enjoys basketball, but the biggest reason is just how much fun it is.
"But not just how fun it is — it's that you're out there with your best friends having fun with them," Porter said. "It also helps you prepare for the real world. Because if you want something in the real world, you've got to work at it and if you don't, it's not happening."
There were plenty of amazing moments from this past season for Porter, but winning the California and Hermann tournaments stood out to her.
"It was just the third time in history that the Lady Pintos had won (the California tournament)," Porter said. "It wasn't just that we won it, but we won it being a number three seed while having the absolute best community support there to witness it with us. (The championship) game is something I'll remember forever and smile about every time I think about it. We also had another memorable moment, going up to (the) Hermann Tournament for the first time ever. With Hermann as far away as it was, I set a goal that my teammates and I will not leave as anything but champions because we're too good, and that's too far away to come out anything but champions. Even though we played tough competition, we came out as champions."
During this past season, Porter said she thought her dribbling improved as the year went on. Besides her technical skills, leadership was another skill that Porter worked on during the season. She said that was especially evident when she learned that being a vocal leader was just as important as leading by example.
"Something I focus (on) a lot in the game of basketball is being the leader, and putting my teammates where they should be," Porter said. "Helping them through the drills and just being there for them. At the beginning of the year, I thought that leading by example was the best way to lead. I found out real quick that just leading by example isn't going to put my teammates in the right position to achieve all the goals not just that I had, but that they had, too."
Porter said she has some lofty goals for her senior season next year.
"I've always told myself that my last high school game, I will not come out a loser, but that I will come out a winner," Porter said. "The only way to do that is to be state champions. There's nothing I want more than for my teammates to experience something even better than what I did my freshman year. So that is why I'm going to do anything possible to help them there, as well as making mine and (sister) Trishelle's childhood dream come true."