Fox Chapel’s Eli Yofan picks up first Division I offer

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Friday, April 16, 2021 | 7:57 PM


Over the past three years, Fox Chapel junior Eli Yofan has shown what he is capable of on the basketball court.

He led the Foxes to back-to-back No. 2 seeds in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs and has helped them put together two straight 20-plus win seasons.

Yofan averaged 22.4 points this past season and was named the Valley News Dispatch Boys Basketball Player of the Year as the Foxes went 20-3.

On Friday, Yofan finally received his first Division I scholarship offer from Navy.

The 6-foot-2 Yofan, who has excels in soccer and golf and is in the midst of volleyball season, didn’t see his first offer coming. At the end of a Zoom meeting Friday, a few members of the Navy coaching staff caught him off-guard.

“Right before it ended, (head coach Ed DeChellis) was like, ‘Oh, I really like who you are as a player and as a person, so I want to offer you,’” Yofan said. “I was completely stunned. I didn’t really see it coming. It was great.”

Along with Navy, Yofan said he has drawn interest from Penn, Brown, Dartmouth, Columbia, Yale, Lehigh, Drexel, Toledo, Miami (Ohio) and Wofford, but he is hoping this offer will open the door as he gets set to enter a summer full of AAU basketball.

“Over a dozen schools have reached out to me, so hopefully schools see this and realize that this school trusted me enough to offer me, so they can trust me to play at that level, too,” Yofan said. “Hopefully, it means more offers will start to come in.”

Navy, which plays in the Patriot League, went 15-3 this past season and only lost one regular-season conference game before falling in the conference tournament quarterfinals. DeChellis, a Monaca native, coached Penn State from 2003-11.

Yofan said Navy reached out to him in the fall or winter this past year and has kept in contact. He said he feels like he could fit into their style of play extremely well.

“They were talking about their play style and they preach defense, rebounding and stuff like that, and that really sounds like our program at Fox Chapel,” Yofan said. “So I chimed in and told them that is what we do in high school, so I can definitely see myself playing the way they play.”

Over the next few months, Yofan figures to attract more offers as he gets more exposure on the AAU circuit. But he said this one always will be special.

“I’ll always remember this one because after everything I’ve been through and all the hard work I’ve put in to play at the next level, I’ll always remember these two coaches and this program,” Yofan said. “This one was special for sure.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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