Selma High star senior basketball guard Will Pallesi has committed to UC San Diego, saying he likes the program and the area.
“I feel like it was a pretty good decision,” he said. “I’ll get a good education and they are one of the top teams in Division II.”
Pallesi made the MaxPreps.com Division III second team last season, averaging 21 points per game in leading the Bears to Central Sequoia League and Valley championships.
He made the commitment roughly two weeks ago, a week after his official visit.
“It was a combination (of factors),” he said. “La Jolla is in a real nice part of San Diego and they’re a good team. I watched practice and I liked what I saw and the possibility of playing Division I (if the Tritons eventually move up) is good."
As Will Pallesi’s Selma High coach, Mike Pallesi feels solid about the decision. As his father, he is torn.
“It’s great; I’m happy,” Mike Pallesi said. “He had 4-6 college offers and they were all good choices. San Diego is kind of far away and it would be nice if he were more local, but the education is good and the facility is nice and he likes the coaching.”
Asked about the adjustment from high school to NCAA D-II, the veteran coach said, “He has a great work ethic and I’ve watched the team work out and skill level he’s there, but he’ll have to adjust to the physicality and the speed of the game.”
Rob Robertson, an analysis for @NorCal_star reported the news first, on Oct. 24, and complimented the senior guard.
“High Academic D2,” Robertson tweeted. “We felt like he was D2 – our rankings reflect that.”
Tweeted Brandon Cole, who has coached Pallesi in the off-season:
“Congratulations to @wmpallesi of his commitment to UC San Diego! Thanks for allowing me to coach you. One of the hardest workers I know!!! #YBA”
Known for his long-range accuracy, the 6-foot-3 Pallesi excited a home crowd Feb. 8 in a 96-60 victory against Dinuba by making six consecutive 3-pointers.
The Bears went 30-5 last season and 10-0 in the Central Sequoia League, defeating Sanger in the Valley title game to win a section title for the first time in 103 years.
The core of Selma’s team – Pallesi, Junior Ramirez and Tiveon Stroud – were all juniors last season, setting Selma up for a potentially big 2017-2018 season.