There is a new path for high school basketball stars to go to the pros. This morning, Overtime, the company behind many of the highlight reels of Kentucky recruits you’ve watched over the years, announced the launch of Overtime Elite (OTE), a new league aimed at 16-18-year-olds who want to play professionally but aren’t interested in following the traditional route from high school to the NBA.
Word first leaked about about Overtime’s new pro league a month ago, but now, we have specifics. Every OTE player will earn a six-figure salary, with a guaranteed minimum salary of at least $100,000 per year, plus bonuses and shares of equity in Overtime. In addition, players will be able to earn revenue from use of their name, image and likeness and retain the right to sign direct sponsorships with sneaker companies.
OTE players will also receive full healthcare and disability benefits, and if they decide not to pursue a professional basketball career, up to $100,000 for college tuition. OTE will also offer an academic program with a special emphasis on developing the life skills necessary to manage and sustain a successful pro sports career.
“Many athletes aren’t properly prepared for what it really means to go pro,” said ten-time NBA All-Star, entrepreneur and philanthropist Carmelo Anthony, who is joining OTE’s board of directors. “We need to do a better job of empowering the next generation of players and setting them up for success. OTE is leading the way on that front by offering players a comprehensive route that fully develops the athlete – not just basketball skills, but also education, economic empowerment and building their own brand. Having this type of guidance for high school players is critical in setting them up for a successful career both on and off the court.”
The league will feature up to 30 players, all living, learning, training and playing in a single city, which is to be announced. It will launch in September 2021. Meanwhile, the NCAA’s NIL rights proposal continues to plod along, with January’s big vote delayed indefinitely as the organization awaits a ruling from the Supreme Court on whether or not they can cap education-related benefits for student-athletes.