After starting her collegiate career at the University of Southern California with the Trojans, where she enjoyed immediate success and was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year following the 2019-20 season, Anchorage’s Alissa Pili decided to take her talents elsewhere for her junior season last spring.
She stayed in the same conference by transferring to the University of Utah and in her first season with the program, the Dimond High alum was sensational for the Utes. On Tuesday, Pili was announced as the 2023 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Year.
Pili led the conference in scoring and shooting percentage as well as ranking second in 3-point efficiency during the regular season. She helped lead the third-ranked Utes to their best finish in program history that included claiming their first share of the regular-season conference championship and their highest national ranking.
In 27 games, she averaged 20.6 points, and scored in double figures a staggering 26 times, which included 16 games of 20 or more points and a career-high of 30 points in a win over Oregon on Feb. 5. Pili also led the league with a .599 field goal percentage and made more than 45% of her 3-pointers.
She starred at the prep level for the Dimond Lynx as a three-sport star in basketball, volleyball and track (shot put and discus). She was also a three-time Gatorade Player of the Year.
With this latest honor, Pili becomes just the third Alaskan in the last four decades to be named a Player of the Year for a Power Five program according to Alaska Sports Report, joining Juneau’s Andrea Lloyd, who did it in the SEC with Texas in 1987, and Chugiak’s Kelsey Griffin, who did it in the Big 12 with Nebraska in 2010.