Teenage twins from Florida are skipping college basketball to become the first to sign with a new hoops league created for standout high school players, per the AP. Brothers Matt and Ryan Bewley signed Friday with Overtime Elite, which markets itself to elite players between 16 and 18 years old with promises of an academic education and a six-figure salary. The Bewleys—Matt, 6-foot-9; Ryan, 6-8—chose this potential route to the NBA over college, the developmental G League, or overseas leagues. The 17-year-old forwards would have been juniors next season at West Oaks Academy in Orlando, Florida. By signing two-year deals, they forgo their college eligibility. They were top recruits for the Class of 2023, with interest from such colleges as Alabama, Auburn, and Florida.
The league, which is expected to announce more player signings over the next few weeks, will feature about 30 players and start in September. The infrastructure is being assembled: OTE recently hired former Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie to oversee the players. The league also announced plans to build a state-of-the-art complex in Atlanta. Each player is guaranteed a minimum salary of $100,000 a year, along with signing bonuses and shares in the company. Players will also generate revenue from use of their name, image, and likeness, in addition to sales of custom jerseys, trading cards, video games, and nonfungible tokens. Overtime Elite was launched through the sports media company Overtime, which counts among its investors rapper/songwriter Drake, along with NBA players like Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant and Portland’s Carmelo Anthony.
(Read more basketball