"He is a precocious young man. His demeanor and communication skills are amazing. They are getting more than a good basketball player at Kentucky. They are getting a great kid, too, and I couldn't be prouder to say that I know him and his family."
Porter has known Zollo and his parents for several years because he went to Morehead State University with Zollo's grandmother. Even though her mother had told her about Porter, Robyn Curry - Zollo's mother - wasn't prepared for what she saw the first time she visited Porter's home.
"My mother asked me if I would like to go to his house. His whole house was about Kentucky. It was blue and white. His car was blue. Everything in the house, including his clothes, were blue. Or at least that is what it seemed like," Curry said. "I asked my mom if that was really his house or if that was just where he came to play around. Even the salt and pepper shakers were UK."
But that's Porter. If anyone bleeds blue, it would have to be him. He carefully plans several trips annually to watch UK play basketball and he's been able to attract a Who's Who of UK basketball and football personalities to the UK Ohio Convention because of his love for the Wildcats.
Porter went to watch Zollo play when he was a youngster and left impressed.
When Porter, a retired school teacher, and his wife moved to a new house, he again invited Curry and her family to come over. This time she brought her young son.
"It was a beautiful house again and when we got inside, he took us on a tour of his special room that had all his UK stuff. With every item, he had a story," Curry said. "Vinny was touching everything. I was afraid he was going to break something. When we left, Vinny said, 'I am going to have a room like that in my house one day because I am going to UK.'"
It's almost eerie that Zollo's youthful prediction came true earlier this month when he decided there was no reason to listen to any more recruiting pitches.
But what made him call Porter so soon after his decision?
"He is a special friend of our family. He's really a nice guy. He came to see me play several times in junior high. He's a die-hard UK fan and I knew he would be excited about my decision. That's why I wanted to call him," Zollo said.
Porter was thrilled with the news. He remembers Zollo's visit to his house, but he didn't know Zollo told his mother that night that he wanted his own UK room one day.
"It was fun to see him look at all my UK stuff. His grandma was with him, too, but he looked at everything in the room," Porter, who remembers watching Zollo play for the first time when he was a 6-4 sixth-grader, said.
Now Porter can only imagine the day when he'll add his own memorabilia from Zollo's UK career to his special room.
"How often do you get a chance to say you really know someone who plays for Kentucky? It's the thrill of a lifetime for this old Kentucky fan," Porter said. "I was so happy when he called me that night not just because he was going to Kentucky, but because he was so happy about going to Kentucky. Those are the kind of kids you want wearing that Kentucky jersey."