Florida Basketball Players Leave HS for Pro League

High school sophomore twins, Matt and Ryan Bewley, have foregone their junior and senior seasons at West Oaks Academy in Florida to play for the newly-formed Overtime Elite professional league.

The 6-foot-9 forwards are not only bypassing their final two years of high school but also their eligibility to play at the collegiate level in favor of what has been described as two-year, million-dollar contracts, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel.

floridaThe outlet went on to report that the twins are believed to be the first American players in the sport to sign with a U.S. pro league before finishing high school.

“They are the pioneers for this league,” West Oaks coach Kenny Gillion said to the Orlando Sentinel. “They’re tremendous players. They’re competitive. They’re outgoing. When you see them on the court, even in games where they’re going up against future pros, they stand out. They’re the full package.”

Overtime Elite rose to prominence as a digital content producer that gained popularity among younger athletes for its highlight videos and interviews. Previous reports on the new pro league said Overtime Elite would target top prospects between the ages of 16 and 18 with hopes of fielding 30 players among several teams.

In addition to training year-round and playing games against American prep schools and international teams, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Overtime has promised six-figure salaries for all players, along with full health care, an academic program, and guarantees of up to an additional $100,000 to use for college costs.

As the NCAA continues to dance around the idea of allowing its student-athletes to collect financial revenue from their name, image, and likeness, Overtime Elite appears to offer another avenue for players with pro-potential.

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“They’re going to wind up being millionaires before they step foot into the league, and that’s base salary, not factoring in what they could potentially make in sponsorships,” Gillion said of the twins to the Sentinel. “They have a personality behind them. They’re 6-9 twins. They have a following on social media. People want to see what’s next for these guys.”

Overtime investors, according to published reports, include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, musical artist Drake, and current NBA players Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Klay Thompson, and Carmelo Anthony.

To read the full story from Orlando Sentinel on the Overtime Elite pro league and two Florida high school players joining, click here