Overtime Elite has revealed its full playing schedule and three rosters for its inaugural season, which ends on October 29.
As part of the schedule, the OTE group of 16-20, including many four- and five-star recruits and top international candidates, will split into three teams and compete against prep and graduate opponents including Sunrise Christian Academy (Postgraduate )), Dream City Christian (Postgraduate), Hillcrest Prep, Putnam Academy of Sciences, Five Star Academy Vertical Program Mickey Williams, and others. Most of the games will be played at Overtime’s new facility in Atlanta, the OTE Center of Excellence, but it will also include travel to events in North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio and Florida.
OTE will face Dr. Phillips (Florida), the Vertical Academy (North Carolina) and the Calvary Christian Kings (Florida) team as part of the GA Prep Series on October 29. The games can be streamed on a deferred basis via the Overtime YouTube channel, OTE officials told ESPN.
In addition to competing against other institutions, the three Overtime Elite teams will play each other as part of the OTE League Series, with wins counted in the league standings and eventually leading to the OTE Playoffs in late March. OTE League Series wins will count for 2 ranking points, while wins over junior/college teams will count as 1 point. Teams can also earn points for winning “Acquisitions,” a series of team challenges that include solo competitions, dunk competitions, and 3-point shooting.
Restrictions imposed by high school leagues and state entities such as the Geico Nationals and the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference prevent most high school teams from scheduling OTE, which includes players of professional standing—many of whom have already graduated from high school. OTE League Series games are expected to be the most competitive and useful procedure for NBA evaluation purposes. OTE officials told ESPN that this season’s setup is OTE’s intended business model, but they said they expect expansion by several OTE teams in the coming years.
“The most exciting part of our schedule is playing with each other, getting the spotlight in our building,” Brandon Williams, head of basketball operations for Overtime Elite, told ESPN. “We’re not attached to specific teams at the moment. The truth is that there aren’t many teams that will look like us. That’s the real challenge in scheduling.”
OTE has invited NBA teams to attend a professional day on October 23 in Atlanta, but sources told ESPN that the event has not yet been approved due to an interpretation of the NBA’s non-contact rules that prevent teams from contacting ineligible players, outside of a few approved settings that include official games and practices. College selected and international practices in which only international players participate.
The association is still deciding how to classify the OTE, sources say, which features a pool of US and international prospects eligible for registration in 2022 and two or three years from qualifying for registration. The league is expected to provide an explanation for NBA teams in the next week or so with guidelines for evaluating OTE players.
“The NBA wants to know what they’re saying yes, and to make sure that all 30 teams have the same level of access and information,” Williams said. “I didn’t feel like they wouldn’t or wouldn’t let the Scouts in.”
RJ Hampton and LaMelo Ball were similarly caught in a gray area two years ago when they both opted to play abroad, but their situations were eventually resolved. The National Basketball Association has certified scouts to attend G League Ignite practices, which also feature a mix of eligible and unqualified prospects, starting tomorrow.
“We’d love to [schedule] “G League Ignite and the NBA Academies,” Williams told ESPN. We are scheduling matches internationally in the spring after our season ends, to create a high-quality experience for players. …once the high school seasons are over, there will be opportunities to do more things in terms of club and basketball seasons to travel.”
OTE has seven players on its roster eligible for selection in the 2022 NBA Draft, including potential lottery pick Jean Montero, 14th on ESPN’s NBA Top 100 list.
High school graduates Dominic Barlow, Jay Smith, Cook Yat, Emmanuel Maldonado and Davion Mays meet both age and grade requirements in high school to be eligible for enrollment, and are expected to be selected next June. Non-international players who have signed a contract with a non-NBA team are eligible to draft, according to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
The OTE teams will be trained on the ground by Dave Letao, the former director of the DePaul and Virginia managers; Ryan Gomez, a former NBA player for eight years as a J-League player and assistant; and Tim Fanning, a former assistant coach with Maccabi Tel Aviv from the Euroleague. All three teams will be overseen by head coach and player development manager Kevin Ole, an NBA player as a player who won a national championship as UConn head coach.
The current rosters of the three OTE teams are as follows:
Gomez’s team: Jan Monteiro, Gazian Gortman, Malik Bowman, Dominic Barlow, Alexander Sarr, Theodore Somasco, Luis Duarte, Nathan Messia Deo, Jay Smith
Leitao team: Bryce Greggs, Bryson Warren, Oscar Thompson, Ryan Bewley, Jalen Lewis, Emmanuel Maldonado, Jaylene Martin, Davion Mays, Jazar Jackson
Fanning Team: Amin Thompson, De Fontes Cobbs, Kwok Yat, Tyler Smith, Matt Bewley, Junaid Walker, TJ Clark, LeBron Lopez, Izan Almansa
Jonathan Jevoni is an NBA draft expert and founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a proprietary exploratory and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA, and international teams.