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Posted On: 06/20/18 7:58 PM
While winning on the AAU circuit is definitely a goal, simply playing well can get you noticed. That’s certainly been the case with Elijah Pepper. The shifty 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard from Selah High School played AAU ball at a high level with Team LaVine and his performances this spring have led to a college recruitment that continues to grow.
“We really didn’t win as much as I would have liked but most of our games were pretty close – about six of the games we lost were by 10 points or less,” Pepper said. “I felt like I played pretty good. I was attacking the basket and I shot the ball pretty well too.”
Pepper certainly got off to a great start with Team LaVine. In nine games on the adidas Gauntlet, he averaged a team-high 19.4 points on 49% shooting, hitting over 39% from three-point range, adding 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. In his final game of the spring, he exploded for 35 points on 12-for-19 shooting against Team New England.
While team success was fleeting, one very nice result from the spring was that Pepper’s college recruitment escalated. He noted that he picked up his first two Division I scholarship offers from UC Davis and Lehigh and others such as Portland, Portland State, Northeastern, and even Pac-10 schools such as Washington State and USC have come calling. Others such as Montana, San Francisco, and Hawaii have been reported to have been involved previously.
“It feels really good,” Pepper said of his recruitment. “It kind of feels like once you get that first (offer) then more come along after that.”
Pepper noted that his goal is to sign in the fall and he hopes to take some visits once AAU ball is over. He broke down his selection criteria. “I’m looking for three things,” Pepper said. “I’m looking at the style of play – I want to play uptempo. Also I’m looking at the relationships with the coach and the people surrounding them. And then, if they have the major I’m looking at. I’m thinking about something with law.”
Until then it will be back on the circuit with his AAU team where his goal there is simple. “I just want to get as better as possible,” Pepper said.