DeCOURCY: NBA Draft prospect Shaedon Sharpe could have helped Kentucky -- and himself -- by playing for the WildcatsSimply, hi Air Force Falcons Jerseysgh schoolers aren't tethered to the idea of them going to school, not like th Cal State Monterey Bay Otters clothes ey once were. Cunningham is no exception. On Monday, he

Alfred University Saxons clothes

Naasir Cunningham could have made the easy choice. The No. 1 men's basketball recruit in the class of 2024, Cunningham had his pick of schools to go to: Duke, Kansas and UCLA, among others.

The pathway for Cunningham Berklee College of Music clothes , a smooth 6-foot-7 guard with a nearly seven-foot wingspan, seemed to already be laid out: Attend one of the top college programs in th Texas vs. Oklahoma Rivalry Shirts e nation, spend a year playing in a system that likely didn't maximize his potential, leave after a season for the NBA. Rinse, repeat.

The destination for the nation's elite high school basketball talent is always clear: they want to make it to the Association. But the path to getting there is changing. NIL gives athletes an opportunity to capitalize off their likeness while in college. G-League Ignite provides young players with a springboard to test their talents against professional opposition. Pro leagues in Australia (NBL) and Europe (Euroleague) offer players a similar opportunity.

DeCOURCY: NBA Draft prospect Shaedon Sharpe could have helped Kentucky — and himself — by playing for the Wildcats

Simply, high schoolers aren't tethered to the idea of them going to school, not like th Cal State Monterey Bay Otters clothes ey once were. Cunningham is no exception. On Monday, he announced his intention of signing with Overtime Elite (OTE).

He's not quite a vanguard; players like Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and LaMelo Ball have all opted for different routes to the NBA over the past few years. But Cunningham's choice is significant for Overtime Elite, a league that promises to offer top high schoolers six-figure deals. All they have to do is spurn the college game.

So, what exactly is Overtime Elite? The Sporting News breaks it down.

What is Overtime Elite?

Overtime Elite is an Atlanta-based basketball league billed as offering "the world’s most talented young basketball players a better pathway to becoming professional athletes," according to its website. It gets its name from its parent company, Overtime, a media conglomerate that says it generates 1.7 billion views per month.

The company was founded by basketball nuts Dan Porter, 55, and Zack Weiner, 29, five years a College Cold Weather shirt go. Overtime built its brand by posting clips of top high school talent on T Bryant Bulldogs Jerseys witter, Instagram and YouTube, eventually Ashland Eagles shirt accumulating 55 million followers across its social media channels.

“We essentially built our business around high school basketball because we didn’t need rights, there were lots of games, and you could film with an iPhone,” Porter told The Ringer's David Gardner. “Plus, basketball was at the center of culture.”

According to the New York Times' Bruce Schoenfeld, Porter and Weiner found that the process that turned elite high school recruits into NBA prospects was a meticulous one, one that didn't necessarily blend with the lives of recruits and their families. Early conversations turned into an action plan, one that centered on three main tenets: player development, education and economic empowerment for players.

The league recruits high school juniors and seniors, as well as "post-grad" players up to the age of 20 years old. 

NBA DRAFT: Tracking early-entry prospects for 2022

How much does Overtime Elite pay players?

Cunningham is the first player to sign with Overtime Elite but forgo a salary, allowing him to retain his college eligibility.

Players are guaranteed a minimum salary of $100,000, plus bonuses and shares of equity in Overtime, a company worth more than $250 million, according to MarketWatch. They can make additional cash through branding deals and bonuses, according to USA Today.

The league has a deal with Topps trading cards, among others, giving players a chance to receive a cut o Michigan vs. Ohio State Rivalry Gear f profits from potential trading card sales. Additionally, players — who live and prac College Cold Weather Gear tice together in Overtime Elite's gliste College Halloween Costumes ning 103,000-square foot facility in the heart of Atlanta — will receive an extra $10,000 if they are part of the league's top team come the end of the season.

If players don't earn a professional contract, the league will grant them an additional $100,000 to attend the school of their choice, according to USA Today.

Who are Overtime Elite's investors?

This is where the fun begins. As mentioned earlier, the high school game has taken off in recent years, grabbing the interest of NBA players and celebrities alike. Drake, a fixture at high school games across the country, has put money into the league, as have more than 25 NBA players, including Devin Booker, Klay Thompson and Trae Young, according to CNBC's Jabari Young.

The league has also drawn investment from billionaires Jeff Bezos and Alexis Ohanian.

How many teams are there in Overtime Elite?

The league currently consists of three teams — Team Elite, Team OTE and Team Overtime. However, league commissioner and president Aaron Ryan indicated that league expansion is on the horizon, with Asia and Europe serving as potential sites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.