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WNBA Rookie Alissa Pili Is the Newest Nike N7 Athlete


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WNBA rookie Alissa Pili of the Minnesota Lynx is the newest Nike N7 athlete.

N7 is the brand’s ongoing initiative to support and collaborate with Native American and Indigenous communities to further elevate equity on the court.

“I’m so honored to join the Nike Family as an N7 athlete,” Pili said in a statement. “Representation is important to me, and I look forward to making an impact in the league and demonstrating to all the Indigenous and Polynesian girls who love the game, that they can reach their dreams.”

Pili was selected No. 8 overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft by the Lynx.

She played high school basketball at Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska, where she was a three-time Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year. During her time at Dimond High School, she also earned the “Pride of Alaska” award from the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and holds the Alaska state scoring record with 2,614 career points.

What’s more, Pili also played volleyball and competed in shot put and discus, and finished with 13 state titles across all sports.

Pili played college basketball at both the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Utah. Her long list of accolades while at Utah include earning First Team All-Conference honors and being named All-Pac-12 First Team while leading the team in scoring during her senior year. And as a junior, Pili was named Pac-12 Player of the Year. And while at USC, her accolades included being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.

Throughout her sports career, Pili, who is of Iñupiat and Samoan heritage, has attracted crowds of Indigenous and Polynesian fans, and more than 100 Samoan fans showed up to watch her play at the Lynx home opener. What’s more, Pili worked with AAPI designer Jason Vu on a tribal-print dress that spotlighted her Polynesian heritage for the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Aside from announcing Pili’s addition to its N7 roster, Nike stated she will meet members of the local Phoenix Native American and Indigenous communities on June 7 — just one day before her birthday — after the Lynx matchup against the Phoenix Mercury. Also, Nike confirmed Pili and her parents will be guests of the Gila River Indian Community’s Governor, Stephen Roe Lewis, and dignitaries including the Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman, Robert Miguel; Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council Member, Mikah Carl; and Arctic Slope Regional Corp EVP, Sam Hill’ will attend to honor Alissa.

The Lynx have a 7-2 record on the season. Pili is currently averaging 3.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in just seven minutes of play at the start of her WNBA career.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at peter.verry@footwearnews.com.



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