Pilibos Junior Guard Anto Balian Is SoCal's Best Kept Secret!

Pilibos Junior Guard Anto Balian Is SoCal's Best Kept Secret!

16 year old Anto Balian standing at 6 foot 2 is the heart and soul of the Pilibos Eagles basketball team. Continuing his father Sako Balian's legacy who played junior college and Division 2 basketball but had to give up his basketball career early. Father Balian still had the love for the game so he started coaching the Pilibos Eagles who are a small Armenian private school located in Hollywood, CA and has been coaching at the school for the last 27 seasons. A basketball was put in the hands of Anto Balian straight out the womb.

Balian was ready to go as a 14 year old starting on varsity and accepted the role of being the guy. Having the ball in his hands in crucial situations as a freshman you could just see the confidence he had. Averaging 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in his freshman year campaign. Pilibos suffered a first round exit in the CIF playoffs to Morningside where Balian finished with 16 points.

Going into his sophomore year losing a lot of seniors from the previous season he knew it was time to turn it up and he delivered, averaging 27 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 3 assists per contest. Anto had a season high of 48 points against Glendale which came in the eight game of the season, but again Pilibos suffered another first round loss to Corona Del Mar where Balian finished with a game high 30 points.

Now going into his junior season after having a very eventful spring and summer playing on the Nike EYBL AAU Circuit on Paul George Elite where he played the best of the best amongst the country. Balian held his own and proved he belonged there with all the top players in the country. 

Balian was also called up to the Armenian Men's National Team this summer as only a 16 year old making him the youngest player ever to be selected to the country's men's national team. Armenia played France in back to back games at the Cal State University of Northridge. In the second match Balian proved again he belonged on the court. In just a few minutes of being on the floor he got past the defense and finished a tough layup while taking the contact completing an and one. The second time he touched the ball he penetrated for a kick out three to his teammate and in the final possession he finished an acrobatic layup which had the crowd going crazy!

I spoke to Balian recently and asked him what his goals for this upcoming year were and he said, "Winning CIF for my dad and receiving more recognition from Division 1 schools."

Already picking up a few interests from Division 1 schools this is the year of separation for Anto Balian and this SoCal basketball phenom will be opening a lot of eyes so stay tuned!

Image Via Four Flash Photography

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