South Eugene’s Eli Lininger, a 6’6” junior wing, has given a verbal commitment to play basketball at Yale. His commitment is the Ivy League’s first for any junior in the U.S. this year. Lininger chose Yale over Air Force, Albany and Portland. He also had interest from over 20 colleges in six conferences.
“My visit to Yale last week sealed the deal. The campus, coaching staff, people and players were great, and the academic opportunities at Yale are unique. Everyone made me feel welcome, and I’m thrilled to be able to say I’ll be a Bulldog in just a couple of years. It’s also nice to be following in my dad’s footsteps and to be attending his alma matter.”
“Coach Jones told me exactly how I’d fit in Yale’s system, and I really feel like I would fit in there. He can see me playing multiple positions, and because I’ve played a lot of different positions on my high school team, I think I can fit well in Yale’s system.”
As a sophomore at South Eugene this past season, Lininger averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds. He made the all-state second team in the 6A classification. Lininger said he benefited a great deal from playing for Terry Pritchard, the coach of the FAST AAU program in Portland.
“He’s a fantastic coach, and he knows college coaches all over the country. Our team was able to play in some high-level tournaments all around the country. I think that exposure made a big difference in my recruitment.”
FAST ranked as high as #9 among all the 16-and-under teams in the U.S.
“I have some great teammates on FAST. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the starters on that team end up playing for D1 programs. I was lucky to be able to travel with a great team like that. We’ve formed some friendships that I hope will last for a long time.”
Lininger is excited about his high school team too.
“South Eugene had a young team the last few years, but we’re getting more experienced, and I think we’ll have a good season this year. The Les Schwab Invitational will be a great test for us in December.”