As a freshman, Kevin Portillo started on the varsity basketball team. As a sophomore, he was named to the First-Team All-County and as a junior, to the First-Team All-State.He was voted team MVP his sophomore and junior years. He scored 41 points in one game, a career-high.
Portillo was feeling good about his game. Constantly getting more and more looks from colleges across the country. He was on cloud nine.
Until it all came to ascreechinghalt. The summer after his junior year, hisdevastatingknee injury left him humbled and unsure of what was once a secure future in college basketball.
But he soon realized the injury left him with something else: Motivation. In the monthsfollowinghis surgery, Portillo recognized his passion and dedication for basketball and how desperately he wanted to return to the court.By the end of his senior season at La Salle High School in Miami, Fla., Portillo was back on the court and able to play in the final six games of the year.
Although his injury was a setback toward his career in college basketball, Portillo sees the injury and his upcoming season at IMG Academy as an opportunity to get better.
"I heard so much about the program," said Portillo. "It was the best facility for me because of the level and depth of coaching. It's a family and I wanted to be a part of it."
At IMG Academy, Portillo will train with coach Loren Jackson in a program overseen by former NBA player and head coach, Kenny Natt. Natt recently joined IMG Academy as Director of Basketball. He brings more than 15 years of player development andcoaching experience to the role.
Within the basketball program, Portillo will partake in on and off-court training to prepare for the mental and physical challenges of being a college basketball player.
"The main thing I hope to learn is how to become a better leader," said Portillo. "I want to be a better overall player and improve my game."
The post-graduate basketball program at IMG Academy allows recent high school graduates the opportunity to increase their skills and playing ability while adhering to structured off-the-court programs that include mental conditioning, leadership training, and communication courses, as well as vision and nutrition. Players receive individualized attention and position-specific coaching in a team setting in order to maximize their athletic potential.