Jesstina Pili

Jesstina “Piggy” Pili

Basketball, Volleyball
Barrow (Utqiagvik) High School

These days, the last name Pili is renowned throughout Alaska for its athletic excellence.

Jesstina “Piggy” Pili gained her spot in the annals of Alaska high school history with strong showings in both basketball and volleyball while attending Barrow High. 

“Piggy emphasizes respecting your opponents regardless, and always sticking together as a team no matter how bumpy the road gets,” said Barrow volleyball coach Aniseko Unutoa.

A 2007 Barrow graduate, Pili was part of two state-tournament volleyball teams and was named to the Class 1A-2A-3A state all-tournament teams in 2004 and 2006. A knee injury forced her out of action in 2005.

The Whalers won the 2006 state crown and Pili was named the tournament’s outstanding hitter.

On the basketball court, Pili was part of Barrow’s 2007 3A March Madness Alaska title squad and named player of the year. She was honored at state three times as an all-tournament selection.

“Piggy was strong physically and strong-willed,” said former coach Becky Crabtree. “Part of her strength may be due to her closely-knit family that staunchly supports one another.”

Pili attended Black Hills State (S.D.) on a basketball scholarship. Today, she resides in Utqiagvik where she works for Alaska Airlines and helps coach at Barrow High.