Ex-USC star Kevin Porter Jr.'s issues predate alleged assault that fractured girlfriend's vertebra

Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

Kevin Porter Jr.'s immense talent for so long obscured his issues away from the basketball court. His latest incident likely will damage his NBA career.

The former USC star was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend, former WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick, fracturing her neck vertebra and leaving her with a deep gash above her right eye during an attack early Monday at the Millennium Hilton in New York, according to authorities.

Porter, a Houston Rockets swingman who signed a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension a year ago, pleaded not guilty to felony assault and strangulation charges at his arraignment Tuesday.

"This is a serious domestic violence case," Mirah Curzer, an assistant Manhattan district attorney, told the judge.

Curzer also said Porter has a history of abusing Gondrezick, including an incident in which he allegedly rammed his car into hers. Porter and Gondrezick have been dating since early 2022, according to her social media post in February that marked their one-year anniversary together.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the Associated Press, Gondrezick told police that Porter punched her repeatedly in the face, causing a deep cut and bruising above her right eye. She also alleged that he wrapped his hands around her neck, causing bruises and the fractured vertebra.


"We are aware of the reports regarding Kevin Porter Jr.," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. "The league office is in contact with the Houston Rockets and in the process of gathering more information."

Porter's off-the-court issues date back to his freshman season at USC in 2019.

He was suspended indefinitely during the Trojans' trip to play Oregon State and Oregon for undisclosed conduct issues.

"The last thing you want to do as a head coach is suspend any of your players, but when there's conduct issues, we have no choice," USC coach Andy Enfield said at the time.


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