Canadian born, and currently a resident of Cloverdale BC, Eli has always been the first and last person in the gym. While he was late to the game (the family pedigree was volleyball), he was convinced by his dad to walk on at the local secondary school, where his eighth grade 6’2 height, athleticism and competitiveness, were immediately noticed. By the time the season begun he was starting centre at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, was often called up to play Jr, awarded as a provincial all star in the provincials where he averaged 23 points through the tournament.
Eli is an all around athlete. He has played on volleyball teams that won westerns and placed top 5 in Canadian nationals, while receiving multiple awards as MVP. He also played hockey and football and was awarded athlete of year, in secondary school. He volunteers as a leader in church youth organizations, and other community outreach programs. He is a sportsman first and an athlete second. He is positive upbeat and never defeated. He knows a loss is just a moment to take a step back to build on the next opportunity.
Eli turned adversity to opportunity when he was forced to move to a newly opened Salish Secondary. As a 9th grader he captained the Jr. Varsity team, scoring 30.5 points a game, in its opening season as regional champs. After a trip to BYU and a Utah valley campus tour, it became clear being labeled as forward early on because of his height was a disadvantage, he needed to move from forward and lock in a roll as a shooting guard. While Covid has been challenging for all ballers, it became the opportunity he needed to build the skills to make the transition. Through the 6 month lockdown, he spends the greater part of 6 days a week dropping buckets, building fitness and working to extend his range well behind the three point line, locking his position as a shooting guard.
During the summer he invited university players to come and play with him. Eli loves a challenge and was able to compete with and even out play the talents he brought in. He joined panther hoops this year to take his game to the next level as he works towards becoming a collegiate level athlete.