Pili latest Alaskan athlete gaining respect, exposure in Lower 48
The move paid instant dividends as the 6-foot-4, 315-pound defensive lineman received two NCAA D1 scholarship offers after his first game.
“The transition has gone good,” he told me. “The kids and the people here are cool and welcoming. The move definitely helped.”
Pili is the latest Alaska teenage athlete to leave the 907 in an attempt to gain respect and exposure in the Lower 48 – and then blew everyone away once he arrived.
Much like former Alaska prep basketball stars Brandon Huffman and Kamaka Hepa, Pili has seen his stock skyrocket with college coaches once they got a chance to see him up close in action.
Huffman left West after his junior season for Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina. He just signed with Roy Williams and the University of North Carolina.
Hepa left Barrow after his sophomore season for Jefferson in Portland, Oregon, where he also played in the Nike EYBL and has been already been offered by several Pac-12 and Big 12 powers.
At Westview, Pili anchors the defense on the state’s fourth-ranked team. The Wildcats are 4-0 and the Alaskan has been pegged as one of Oregon’s top newcomers.
“The coaches over here have taught me more about the game and that has definitely improved the way I play and also the competition here pushes me to be the best,” he said.
Pili has received offers from Oregon State and Hawaii as well as interest from Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Boise State.
“There’s more talent and the game play is faster out here,” Pili said. “There’s better coaching and more connections out here. Like the whole Westview coaching staff went D1 and some even played in the NFL, so they know what they’re talking about.”