Jimmy John's Order Now

Women’s basketball director of basketball operations Portia Benbow has a unique daily

Portia Benbow with K.K. Williams as she accepts her award during the Sun Belt season on Nov. 26. Photo submitted by Georgia State Athletics

For Portia Benbow, every day is different.

As the director of basketball operations for the women’s basketball team, she is continuously working and on the move, trying to accomplish her next task.

Benbow does nearly everything (besides coach and play of course) on the court that makes the team run. But she still has a vital role to play in the success of the team because of everything she does off of the court.

“Every day is not the same, and that’s kind of what I like about my job,” Benbow said. “I do everything off the court so I’m in charge of the budget I’m in charge of the team and recruiting travel. I pretty much do everything except for coaching and recruiting.”

Benbow often has a lot on her plate, but in her short time here she has figured out how to manage it all.

“It does get challenging, but it’s nothing that I can’t handle,” Benbow said. “You have to be very organized, and you have to be a planner in this position, so if you are good at those two things, then you will be okay.”

She has always been around the game of basketball, having played at Jenkins High School, before going to Georgia Tech as a basketball manager. After two years at Georgia Tech, she transferred to Armstrong State where she would join the team. While she was at Armstrong State, Benbow was named a team captain.

She does miss playing college basketball from time to time, but one thing she doesn’t miss is waking up for practice or working out like she watches her players do on a daily basis.

Jimmy John's Order Now
Jimmy John's Order Now

Benbow became the director of basketball operations in May 2015, but before that she worked on a lot of things, including work with the Atlanta Falcons and Braves.

She loves her job because of the daily interaction she gets with the student-athletes.

“I feel like everything that I do has some sort of positive impact on their experience as student-athletes,” Benbow said.

One of her more prominent goals for the future is to open up a basketball facility for youth.

When Benbow was in college, there was a gym called ‘Run and Shoot’ that she would often attend, and it was open 24 hours a day for the youth as an alternative.

“I used to spend a lot of my time in there,” Benbow said. “I feel like it was a haven because it was right in the middle of the ‘hood, so it was a haven for those kids to come in and have things to do instead of staying in the streets. So I want to open up a facility, something similar to that to give youth an alternative to doing other things.”

On top of her busy job, Benbow also juggles a lot outside of her work because she is a now a wife and mother. She is also a part-time referee, and she is learning to enjoy that as well.

“I’m a new wife and a new mom, so those are two other roles that I’ve kind of had to learn to maneuver this year,” Benbow said. “And I still play basketball a lot. I play in women’s leagues.”

While she admits that she is not in as good as shape as the players, Benbow believes that she could still give a few players on the team a run for their money on the court.

“I’m not in as good of shape, but I’m smarter than they are at this age so I could probably still give them a couple of buckets,” Benbow said.

According to Will Owens the Sports Information Director for the team, he once saw her knockdown 40 out of 50 jump shots. Anyone who can do that can play some basketball.

One thing that people may not know about Benbow is that she has type-one diabetes.

“It’s a struggle, but I got it when I was 11, so it made me grow up a lot faster, and it helps me to mature a whole,” Benbow said.

As for her future, she has considered the idea of coaching basketball, but she is still not entirely sure of the idea. Nonetheless, she does she have one desire: stay involved in the game of basketball.