Overtime Announces New League, Overtime Elite
Overtime has been around now for a while and has become a hub in the basketball community and on social media for showcasing not only some of the best young talent and upcoming prospects worldwide, but also for creating content tailored towards the younger generation of athletes and sports lovers everywhere.
This has enabled them to build a huge following and generate tons of revenue, so much so that a couple of days ago, it was announced that they would be creating a new league called ‘Overtime Elite’, a new basketball league for up and coming elite prospects.
The league will consist of 30 elite boys aged 16–18. Each player will have access to high-quality basketball development training with state of the art equipment and facilities. The league will take place at a single venue, the location of which has not yet been announced. As well as the quality of training the players will get, they will also be getting educated with a curriculum that includes topics on financial literacy, mental health and social justice advocacy, all things which any person who has finished school or is in the latter stages of their education will definitely say needs to be included in any school teaching programme.
The main talking point though, as we would all expect, is the money. An ongoing conversation that has been had in the basketball community has been about the financial rewards that players should be getting at particular levels of the game, the NCAA to be more specific. The route to professional basketball in America particularly is one that people have described as a ‘broken ecosystem.’ Players are recruited out of high school to the NCAA, which playing in can boost your draft prospects and potentially get you into the NBA or elsewhere. However, those NCAA programs have been collecting all the financial gain from the work of the players and many feel as if the players deserve to be financially rewarded IF the NCAA is going to continue to attract as much attention as they do to the game worldwide and ensure that they themselves gain financially.
Now, these days, not every player out of high school is going to the NCAA or university at all for that matter. Maybe we should thank Lavar Ball for that change, but more on that later. More options are starting to become more favourable to the players as they see opportunities to get paid to play the sport they love whilst continuing to prepare themselves for the NBA or wherever else they choose to go. Jalen Green who was highly recruited coming out of high school opted to play in the NBA G-league rather than going to university, which allowed him to get signed on a $500,000 salary. Lamelo Ball was also another example, as he ended up playing professionally overseas coming out of high school, spending time in Lithuania and then playing in the very well-televised NBL in Australia for the Illawarra Hawks.
OTE is essentially another option for the players, as they aim to provide all players with a MINIMUM $100K salary each. On top of that, OTE guarantees players who opt not to play basketball professionally up to $100K in payment for their college (university) tuition.
Now, on to Lavar. Lavar Ball tried to start his own league with a somewhat similar structure back in 2017 called the JBA, the Junior Basketball Association. He had the right idea, offering players a $3K monthly income and providing players with many other rights that the NCAA did not. His league was even backed but some notable names. Trae Young made an appearance at one of the games and even CJ McCollum had some things to say. However, it lacked execution. Players were complaining that they weren’t getting paid, people complained that ticket prices were too high so eventually, it shut down. At the time, a lot of people actually did support the idea and now that we see OTE being formed, it might be fair to say that Lavar Ball’s JBA may have been pivotal in starting the move away from the NCAA, a move that I’m sure many wanted to make but didn’t, until now.
OTE will be run by NBA executive Aaron Ryan as the league commissioner, along with former Sacramento King and NBA Champion Brandon Williams who will serve as the VP and Head Of Basketball Operations. With people such as Carmelo Anthony, Jay Williams and many more very notable names to be added, OTE is well-positioned for this to go well and hopefully, it does.