The Overtime Elite program, a startup professional path designed to provide an alternative to college for high-level prospects, made another major splash Tuesday as four-star twins Ausar and Amen Thompson signed two-year deals with the program, according to 247Sports. Both are 6-foot-6 combo guards from Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The league made waves last week when it signed brothers Matt and Ryan Bewley from West Oaks Academy in Orlando, Florida. But the Thompson brothers are high school graduating class members for 2022 with 2023 NBA Draft eligibility, as opposed to the Bewley brothers, who are a year younger.
Overtime Elite will be coached by former UConn coach Kevin Ollie and players who sign with the league are expected to earn a minimum of $100,000 per year, not including bonuses in addition to shares of equity in Overtime, a sports network popular among prep players. They are also able to profit off their name, image and likeness, a direct benefit not enjoyed by college players right now as legislation at the NCAA level drags out. Perks also include health care as well as up to $100,000 of college tuition covered for those who don't pursue professional opportunities after playing in the league.
The Overtime Elite program is one of two rising landing spots for players who want to profit off their skill sets instead of going to college or playing overseas. The G League Ignite program, affiliated with the NBA's G League, is another. The G League Ignite program is in its second year of existence after helping develop potential top-five picks Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.
College basketball remains in fine shape despite top talents in recent years like LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton, Green and Kuminga opting to turn pro. But 247Sports notes that 13 five-star prospects since 2019 have chosen to turn pro instead of play college. The Thompson twins signing with Overtime Elite marks another milestone in that steady trickle of talent not playing college hoops.