One of the top 10 volunteers, Omaha Bellew, announced his commitment to Iowa on Tuesday, becoming the Cyclones’ highest commitment in the modern conscription era.
Biliew chose Iowa over a final group that also included Kansas, Oregon and J-League Ignite.
It’s home, nothing beats it,” Bellio told ESPN. “Playing for the state that has raised me for the majority of my life is invaluable to me. I feel like I was meant to be at ISU and make my legacy here.”
Bellio has made multiple visits to the Iowa State University campus over the past year and head coach TJ Utzelberger has made Bellio his clear priority target in the 2023 class.
“What makes coach TJ so special is that he is a real, real person,” Bellio said of his future coach. “Throughout the entire hiring process, we’ve built a strong bond and discovered we have a lot of similarities, especially when it comes to our work ethic. I know I can trust Coach TJ and what goes on at Hilton.”
A 6-foot-8 forward from Iowa who attended Link Year Prep (Missouri) this past season, Biliew ranked 9th in the 2023 ESPN 100. He averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 19 games with the MoKan Program Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit in the spring and summer, helping lead the team to the Peach Jam Championship last week. Bellio scored 14 points and six rebounds in the quarter-finals, followed by 13 points and 12 rebounds in the semi-finals.
Biliew is one of the most physical and intense vistas in the class. His defensive prowess depends on his concentration at that end of the floor, as well as the fact that he lives low in his position and can defend the ball or provide an assist. He can block shots, but he’s at his best when playing as a high-level restorer.
Offensively, he has safe hands and has the ability to spread. Biliew also has an improved touch with scope for a bow when needed. He’s one of the best runners in the class, especially in traffic, due to his strength, power, and jumping ability.
Biliew is the first five-star candidate to commit to Iowa State since ESPN’s recruitment database began in 2007. It is the Cyclones’ third pledge in the 2023 class, joining ESPN 100 forward Milan Momcilovic and four-star winger Jelani Hamilton.
After reaching Sweet 16 last season and with three impressive recruits already in place, Iowa State’s future looks bright – and Biliew is looking forward to playing in front of the Cyclones fans in two seasons.
“They are one-of-a-kind and die-hard fans,” he said. “One thing about this fan base is that they are very loyal to the players and the school, and no matter what conditions the team is in, they support them no matter what.”