To conclude an event-filled summer, CrossRoads Elite Invitational provided an opportunity to get an early look at some of the nations top underclassmen all under one roof. Taking place at the YMCA Farha Sports Centers in Wichita, Pro Insight was on hand to cover the three-day event. In between games, we caught up with Omaha Biliew of Link Academy (MO) and MoKan Elite (KS).
Growing up in an athletic family, Biliew was introduced to a number of sports growing up before he decided to focus on basketball. Since then, he’s continued to work up the rankings to the point where he’s currently the ninth-ranked 2023 prospect in the country via ESPN. Standing at 6’7.5” and 212 pounds with a 7’1” wingspan, Omaha possesses the physical tools to act as a lockdown multi-positional defender and an inside-outside scorer at the next level.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Biliew discussed his background, the decision to transfer to Link Academy, his recruitment update, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Omaha Biliew, from Omaha, Nebraska:
Pro Insight: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Omaha Biliew: My name is Omaha Biliew and I’m a first-generation American. I’m a South-Sundanese American and I was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Recently came from Iowa, it’s like my second home. I have five brothers and three sisters. My mom has been here since 2000 and ever since that I just grew into this basketball game a lot and this is where it’s taken me.
PI: Are there any other athletes in your family?
OB: Some of my older brothers. I’ve got a brother in college right now, he’s part of the 2020 class and he’s the first one to play collegiately. He’s right there with me, we’ve got a little competition between us. We’re just all athletes in our family — basically everybody older than me because I’m the youngest brother. So most everybody older than me are all athletes.
PI: Where do you fall in line with all of the siblings?
OB: Obviously I’m the best [laughs]. I’m the youngest brother, but I hope they look at me as an older brother now. I know they do.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up or has it always been basketball?
OB: Actually, I started playing soccer in middle school —football, track and field — and I actually did volleyball, too.
PI: When did you start focusing on basketball?
OB: I think it happened once I was away from my mom at 13 years old. I really got a glimpse at what I could do and I dreamed a lot about being a basketball player, an NBA player. So I would say 13 years old.
PI: At what point did you feel like you could be good?
OB: I would say it clicked for me at my first camp up in Indianapolis. It was called MSHTV and it just happened when I played against other top players and saw where I was amongst my peers. It just opened my eyes even more and that’s when I gained a bigger point of view on the game of basketball and really started to take off.
PI: What are your current measurements?
OB: Right now I’m about 6’7.5” with shoes, 212 pounds, and a 7’1” wingspan.
PI: Where do you get your height from?
OB: I’d say mostly from my father. I heard that he’s a tall dude, so I’d say him. My mom is a tall woman, so I think that’s where it’s coming from, too.
PI: Are your siblings tall, as well?
OB: Yeah, most of them are. We have a range of 6’6” to 6’8”.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths?
OB: I would say I’m very versatile...an elite defender who can play one-through-five. After that, I would say a dominant 15-foot game, a developing shot, and I’d say just a very versatile all-around game.
PI: What are some things you still need to work on?
OB: Right now I’m solely focusing on one-dribble pull-ups. Finding my spots and shooting from there. My shot mechanics — continuing to shoot over and over again.
PI: What would you say is most underrated about your game?
OB: People forget how skilled I am. They see more of my frame and they appoint me as a big and that kind of takes away my skill side of the game. So when they see me handling the ball, taking my man off the dribble they get surprised and it’s mind blowing to them.
PI: Describe this past season with Waukee.