Catching up with former Utah star Alissa Pili

ARLINGTON, Texas — Being the eighth pick in the WNBA draft is something accompanied by certain expectations, but Alissa Pili entered the professional ranks fully realizing that joining a mostly veteran team like the Minnesota Lynx.

one led by a veteran head coach in Cheryl Reeve who has been calling the shots there since 2010, meant she was going to have to be one patient rookie.

Thus far, Pili, 23, who starred for the Utes from 2022 through 2024, has appeared in 12 games for the Lynx and is averaging 2.3 points per game. 

It (my transition to the W) has been pretty smooth, especially being drafted into such a great program all around,” she said after a recent road game in Dallas.

Utah fans remember her fondly for her two seasons in the Pac-12 — fondly for good reason. 

In 2022-23, she averaged 20.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists, a strong showing that earned her conference player-of-the-year honors. 

She followed that by averaging 21.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a senior, starting all 34 games for the Utes to finish her collegiate career on a positive note.

Pili credits Utah head coach Lynne Roberts for helping tap into her immense potential during her two seasons in Salt Lake City and for putting her in position to be drafted and to play in the W.

She (Coach Roberts) challenged me and pushed me to be the best I could be. I think that my breakout seasons, both of my seasons at Utah, helped me to be in a position to be seen for the draft and be on the WNBA radar,” Pili said.