Unique basketball prep league, school starting in Atlanta

Overtime Elite, a new basketball league and school for 16, 17 and 18-year-olds designed with the goal of helping players becoming professionals, will be built in Atlantic Station and is scheduled to open in September.

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Overtime Elite, a new basketball league and school for 16, 17 and 18-year-olds designed with the goal of helping players becoming professionals, will be built in Atlantic Station and is scheduled to open in September.

Overtime Elite is scheduled to start in September

Overtime Elite, a new basketball league and school for 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds designed with the goal of helping players becoming professionals, will be built in Atlantic Station and is scheduled to open in September.

The league, which will provide salaries, signing bonuses and academic instruction, is expected to have as many as 30 players, scouted and signed from around the globe. The venture is run by the social media platform Overtime and has more than $80 million in financial backing from a group that includes Jeff Bezos, the rapper Drake, and more than a dozen NBA players, including the Hawks’ Trae Young, according to those involved. The league’s president commissioner is former NBA executive Aaron Ryan. Atlanta residents Brandon Williams (head of basketball operations) and Kali Franklin (head of talent and recruiting) will help run the venture.

Overtime Elite selected Atlanta last winter after scouting eight sites around the U.S. Atlantic Station was selected after looking at several sites in the metro Atlanta area.

“It couldn’t be a better fit for us,” Ryan said in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The ability to find a home and to plant roots long term in a city like Atlanta, rich in basketball history, a major economic hub, and to be able to connect athletes to a community that inspires us all, is a great home for Overtime Elite.”

The Overtime Elite campus is expected to add as many as 100 full-time jobs, ranging from teachers, nutritionists, strength and conditioning and administrative positions according to the Ryan. The team will be coached by former Connecticut player and coach Kevin Ollie, who will be assisted by Dave Leitao, formerly the head coach of Virginia and DePaul.

“Overtime Elite is a welcome addition to Atlanta’s rich sports tradition, elevating the city as a global center for basketball development and a cultural hub for people of all backgrounds,” Young said in a statement provided by Overtime Elite.

Players will be housed in existing construction near Atlantic Station. A 103,000-square-foot arena is scheduled to be built south of 17th and Market Streets in Atlantic Station. The construction is expected to add 400 temporary jobs, according to Overtime.

Overtime Elite is owned by Overtime, a social media platform with more than 50 million followers and 14 billion views annually.

Overtime Elite’s genesis can be traced back to a meeting that Overtime had with the families of elite basketball players in 2019 to discuss the amateur basketball ecosystem. The discussions included complaints about the congested schedules on the AAU circuit, as well as the cost to participate, and the challenges that some players have trying to qualify academically for Division I colleges.

Overtime Elite hopes to soon announce its first player signing, according to Ryan.

What separates Overtime Elite, which is free for the players, from a private prep school is compensation.

Players will receive annual salaries of at least $100,000, as well as bonuses that will be paid should the players achieve certain goals within the curriculum, according to Ryan. Players will receive portions of revenues generated from their name, image and likeness generated from merchandise sales, as well. Should the player not be drafted by an NBA team or sign with a team overseas, Overtime Elite will give that player $100,000 toward their college education. Players will also receive disability insurance in case an injury prematurely ends their career. Players can’t choose to not accept the revenues in order to maintain their amateur status because the NCAA rules don’t allow that, according to Ryan.

Academically, the education will include in-person and virtual learning platforms with the goal of completing a high school degree. Ryan said it will be accredited by a national organization. The curriculum includes professional skills training that will include financial literacy, media training, social media training and social activism, among other topics. There is a projected ratio of four players to each academic instructor.

The schedule will follow the traditional high school model, giving the players time with the families during winter breaks, spring breaks and the summer.

Overtime Elite’s players and team is projected to play games domestically against academies and professional teams, and internationally against club teams in Europe. They will also play intra-squad games.

Players and their families will be free to sign with independent agents to prepare for their professional careers.

The games will be broadcast on Overtime’s platforms. Ryan said eventually the rights could be sold to a traditional network.

Overtime Elite’s revenue is projected to come from, but not limited to, partnerships and sponsorships, ads around content, and naming rights for the facility.

Ryan said that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is aware of the venture and said that providing options for players is good. Ryan said he hasn’t spoken to anyone with the NCAA because he has been focused on building the league.

Ryan said the best-case scenario for Overtime Elite is a player reaching the NBA, scoring and using his hands to make an “O” sign.

“That player then comes back to Overtime Elite’s academy and motivates the next generation in the work that’s required to be a pro athlete and a great citizen,” he said.

“Overtime Elite will bring several well-paying jobs to our city, generate millions of dollars in economic impact and expand mentorship and programming opportunities for our young people,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement. “We are pleased that Overtime Elite has chosen Atlanta to be its permanent home, and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of basketball stars to our city.”

Combined ShapeCaption
The leaders of Overtime Elite, from left to right Aaron Ryan, OTE Commissioner and President, Brandon Williams, OTE EVP, Head of Basketball Operations, Kali Franklin, OTE SVP, SVP, Head of Talent & Recruiting, Kevin Ollie, OTE Head Coach and Director of Player Development

Credit: Joshua Spruiel

The leaders of Overtime Elite, from left to right
Aaron Ryan, OTE Commissioner and President, Brandon Williams, OTE EVP, Head of Basketball Operations, Kali Franklin, OTE SVP, SVP, Head of Talent & Recruiting, Kevin Ollie, OTE Head Coach and Director of Player Development

Credit: Joshua Spruiel

Combined ShapeCaption
The leaders of Overtime Elite, from left to right Aaron Ryan, OTE Commissioner and President, Brandon Williams, OTE EVP, Head of Basketball Operations, Kali Franklin, OTE SVP, SVP, Head of Talent & Recruiting, Kevin Ollie, OTE Head Coach and Director of Player Development

Credit: Joshua Spruiel

Credit: Joshua Spruiel