Brooklyn Nets superstar forward Kevin Durant is a major investor in the digital sports platform Overtime.
Back in 2018 Durant invested $9.8 million into Overtime’s platform when they were still interested solely in becoming the ESPN for Generation Z. Three years later Overtime is looking to become something much larger than that.
Last month, Overtime CEO Dan Porter announced Overtime Elite (OTE), a league allowing 16- to 18-year-olds to bypass high school, college, and play in a professional setting, where they can build their brand and develop for the NBA.
Players can earn at least $100,000 a year, receive schooling, transportation, hospitality, and access to pro-level training.
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Kevin Ollie Is OTE’s First Major Hire
On Monday Overtime announced the hiring of former UConn head coach and NCAA Champion Kevin Ollie who will be brought on as OTE’s head coach and director of player development.
“My time away has reaffirmed that my purpose and true passion is coaching. I spent eight years on the bench at UConn, as both an assistant and head coach,” Ollie said via The Athletic.
Ollie is one of just four African American coaches to win a Men’s NCAA championship.
“When I took over as head coach in 2012, UConn had just been placed on probation due to academic violations and handed a one-year ban on postseason play. We had also lost four out of five starters and were in the process of changing conferences. I was following a Hall of Fame coach, and I was only given an interim title. “
Two years later, Ollie led UConn to it’s first national championship since 2011.
OTE Is Looking To Separate Itself From the NCAA
OTE is looking to correct everything that is wrong with the NCAA. Reduced travel, a focus on relevant education, and most importantly players will be paid what they are worth.
“In basketball circles, there has been a lot of talk over the years about revamping a broken system,” Ollie said.
The NCAA has been ridiculed for years for having a structure that only benefits the NCAA and not the players. The NCAA makes money hand over fist on the backs of it’s athletes while players often struggle to make ends meet.
“Today, high school prospects bounce from school to school. Parents pay big money, so their kids are able to travel and participate in high-level competition. Education is often not a priority. Prospects enter the pros without the necessary professional skills training needed for successful careers at the next level. And they lack the business literacy to know how to maintain and deal with the things that come with money,” Ollie continued.
“OTE is designed to offer the world’s top prospects the development, education, and economic empowerment to address these issues head-on.”
Ollie Has Served As a Mentor to Some of the NBA’s Brightest Stars
Ollie, who is a former NBA player himself served as a mentor to numerous NBA stars during his playing days and continued once he retired. Most notably LeBron James, Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kemba Walker. That mentorship experience will play a major role as OTE is hoping to attract and develop the country’s top young hoopers.
“I’ve been around greatness, playing with all-timers like LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. These guys all had something in common: they respected the game. Perfecting their craft wasn’t a chore; it was a lifestyle,” Ollie continued.
“In OKC, Russ, KD, and James would all stay late in the gym. If they were working on a new move, they’d stay until it was perfected. When you see them play, it’s because of the work they put in. In many ways, it’s harder than the game. This is what it takes to be great.”
OTE looks to be a groundbreaking experiment as it is the first league of its kind. Making a coaching talent like Ollie the first major hiring of the league shows that they are headed in the right direction.
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