PHOENIX (BVM) – There have been eyes on Omaha Biliew since before he entered high school.
The 6-foot-7 Iowa native picked up an offer from the Hawkeyes and garnered interest from Washington, Louisville and others as an eighth-grader with a 7-foot wingspan. Biliew has already experienced disappointing a fanbase after he chose to play his high school ball at Dowling Catholic.
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) October 7, 2019
One of the country’s premier eighth-grade basketball prospects was considering several schools in the Des Moines area, but Biliew teamed up with Ryan Riggs, the Des Moines Register’s No. 2 in-state 2021 prospect, and the Maroons for the 2019-20 season.
As the only underclassmen on Dowling’s roster, Biliew wasn’t exactly a force as a freshman. He averaged just 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds on a team where he was not typically the No. 1 offensive option.
But that didn’t prevent Division I programs from offering one of the best 2023 recruits in the country.
Biliew carved out a defensive role and used his length, elite athleticism and sheer strength to earn a starting job for the Maroons’ final seven games. The result has been six more offers (Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska and Western Kentucky) and recognition from ESPN as the No. 4-ranked prospect in the Class of 2023.
Performances at a pair of invitations to USA Basketball training camps likely led to Biliew’s elite ranking despite the absence of gaudy numbers as a freshman. It was here where Biliew showcased his promise against some of the country’s best 2021 and 2022 prospects, including a monstrous dunk over 7-foot Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 player in the class of 2021.
Here is 2023 Omaha Biliew’s dunk over Chet Holmgren from earlier today at the #USABJNT Minicamp via @ultrafilms15. @BiliewOmaha @TeamGriffinMS @TeamGriffinEYBL @wayBeyondBall @John14__6 @PrepHoopsIA @tonysroe pic.twitter.com/iRBwiWPE5U
— Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14) October 13, 2019
Nearly a year after Biliew made Dowling fans rejoice, he likely tore their hearts out.
Biliew will play his sophomore season at Hillcrest Prep, a program that is gaining plenty of notoriety throughout the nation due to past players such as Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns) and most recently, Kyree Walker. Former NBA star Mike Bibby coached the team for a short period of time before stepping down in the fall and was replaced by current head coach, Nick Weaver.
Hillcrest, which calls Inspire Courts in Gilbert its home, plays a national high school schedule sponsored by Adidas.
“Omaha will add another dimension to our program with his size and versatility,” Weaver told The Arizona Republic. “He can play multiple positions and guard multiple positions. Omaha is an amazing athlete who can put points up on the board and that is an area you always like to add.”
Weaver will pair Biliew with 6-foot-8 Michael Foster, rated as the No. 6 prospect in the nation in the 2021 class by ESPN, to form one of the toughest one-two punches in the country.
The NBA may once again allow high school seniors to enter the NBA Draft by the time 2023 prospects graduate, creating a potentially interesting wrinkle in Biliew’s college recruitment. But for now, one of the best rising sophomores in the country has more pertinent things to worry about.
“I’m really not worried about recruiting,” Biliew told 247Sports in May. “I just want to keep getting better. I try not to worry about everything else.”
It's early to be ranking 2023 players but 6'7 Omaha Biliew looks like he's near the top of the class! pic.twitter.com/1DmYsRCbno
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 3, 2019