A new basketball league created for standout high school players is building a state-of-the-art facility in Atlanta.
Also under construction: the high-level hoopsters set to join a league that offers another possible avenue to the NBA.
Overtime Elite announced Wednesday it is constructing a 103,000-square-foot complex where prep players will train, study and compete. The new league markets itself to top-notch players between 16 and 18 years old with promises of an academic education and a six-figure salary. It’s another potential route to the NBA besides college, the developmental G League or heading overseas.
Last month, the league hired a head coach in Kevin Ollie, who led UConn to a national title in 2014.
Scheduled to start in September, the league will feature 30 players — yet to be named — all living and playing in Atlanta.
Overtime Elite was launched through the sports media company Overtime, which counts among its investors rapper/songwriter Drake and NBA players such as Kevin Durant of Brooklyn, Carmelo Anthony of Portland and Trae Young of Atlanta.
“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 as the Hawks head into the postseason as a No. 5 seed.
Each player is guaranteed a minimum salary of at least $100,000 a year, along with signing bonuses and shares in the company. They will also generate revenue from use of their name, image and likeness, in addition to sales of custom jerseys, trading cards, video games and nonfungible tokens.
One caveat: Their college eligibility would be forfeited.
The city of Atlanta was selected after a yearlong search. The facility will be located in the Atlantic Station neighborhood, which is near the Georgia Tech campus.
“The city’s storied basketball history, diverse population, vibrant business community and rich culture make Atlanta a city where OTE wants to make a commitment as an active contributor to the community," Overtime Elite commissioner and president Aaron Ryan said in a news release.
Added Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: “We look forward to welcoming the next generation of basketball stars to our city.”
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Pat Graham, The Associated Press