Overtime Elite, the Atlanta-based basketball academy, partnered with Gatorade to host its two-day “Takeover” event, May 13-14 at the OTE Arena in Atlantic Station. The event featured some of the country’s most talented women basketball players from across the nation, including University of Connecticut All-American Paige Bueckers and NCAA Champion and National Player and Defensive Player of the Year Aliyah Boston.
On Friday night, the event was kicked off with the Meta Quest Dunk Show. Players were divided into six teams made up of a current OTE athlete, a women’s basketball high school star, a social media influencer and a professional dunker. The dunk show also broadcast live, allowing online viewers to watch the event on Meta Quest, Quest 2 and Rift headsets via Horizon Venues. After six rounds, Team Cash Nasty was declared the dunk contest winner. Team Cash Nasty included OTE player Amen Thompson, professional dunker Jordan Sutherland and University of Arizona commit Paris Clark.
Isiah Jackson, a professional dunker, was appreciative of the opportunity to perform in front of the OTE crowd. “I see what these young players are doing, and when Overtime contacted me, I had to show out for the kids and the community,” he said.
After the dunk contest, Overtime Elite featured the State Farm King and Queen of the Court competition. Players competed one-on-one, with the first player to score three points in a game advancing to the next round. Ultimately, OTE guard Lewis Duarte from Garden Grove, California was crowned King of the Court, while Gatorade’s Louisiana High School Player of the Year, Mikaylah Williams, took home the Queen of the Court crown, defeating finalist Zamareya Jones.
The second day of the Takeover weekend highlighted the athletes’ teamwork, as Overtime hosted a 3-on-3 tournament for both the men and women. The women’s team was coached by some of the top collegiate athletes in the country, including Bueckers, Boston, NCAA Champion and 2019 Takeover “Queen of the Court” winner Zia Cooke and NCAA champion and two-time Pac-12 champion Haley Jones.
“This weekend was amazing,” said OTE athlete Bryon Warren. “The fans showed out, [and] some of the top scouts were here. It was nice to meet the women’s basketball players and to be able to show love to them, too.”
Overtime Takeover Weekend was brought to fans by Meta Quest, State Farm, and Gatorade. Overtime Elite is a transformative new sports league that trains, educates, and showcases rising talent within the basketball community. Overtime has featured the next generation of all-stars for the past five years via YouTube and various social media accounts. In 2019,OTE hosted its first Overtime Takeover Weekend. Taking note of economic and systemic challenges for young basketball players, the organization set out to bridge the gap and make an easier path for stars to be able to effectively and efficiently develop their careers.
OTE athlete Ausar Thompson is currently a high school senior, and is predicted to be a first round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. When asked about his experience within the program, he said, “We go against the best players, and we are educated by some of the best players, so I really enjoy the program and everything it’s given me thus far.”
Present-day, Overtime has completed its first season with 27 basketball players from all over the country; the academy also hosts several international students. OTE teams are composed of some of the top juniors, seniors, and postgraduate players in the world.