Overtime Elite, the upstart professional league positioning itself as an alternative path for players aspiring to turn pro, signed its highest-ranked recruit to date on Wednesday as five-star Class of 2022 point guard Jazian Gortman, the No. 8 player in the 247Sports Composite rankings, committed to joining the league. Gortman is the 14th player to sign with OTE ahead of its inaugural season later this year.
"Today we landed a critical piece that hits at the core of what we're building. Jazian brings a relentlessness, tenacity and leadership capability to the OTE family," said OTE's EVP and Head of Basketball Operations, Brandon Williams. "Jazian is widely regarded as one of the top talents in his class, elevating himself this spring through a visible commitment to developing his craft."
Gortman gives OTE a prolific scorer and distributor with the potential to grow into one of the faces of the league. He averaged 23.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game last season at W.J. Keenan High School and has potential to develop into an NBA player. He joins a star-studded incoming first class that features potential 2022 first-rounder Jean Montero of the Dominican Republic.
The appeal of OTE is the guaranteed six-figure salary offered to its players, access to bonuses and shares of equity in Overtime, a popular sports brand and network as well as the ability of players to profit from their name, image and likeness. Salaries start at $100,00, but Gortman, given his profile, will earn $650,000 according to Jeff Goodman -- comparable to what Jalen Green (the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft) earned last year with the G League Ignite. Players also have access to up to $100,000 in college tuition if they opt to not pursue an NBA career.
"Jazian takes our guard play to the next level with his explosiveness, ability to score, pass, and defend," Kevin Ollie, formerly UConn's head coach now serving as the OTE's head coach, said of the signing. "I get excited about players who always bring level-5 energy -- in games, practice, the weight room, the film room, and the classroom. Jazian always brings it and that's why so many have taken notice of him."
Gortman chose OTE over reported college offers from Maryland, Illinois, Texas and a handful of other top programs.