Former NBA player and UConn head coach Kevin Ollie has been hired as the head coach and director of player development for the Overtime Elite basketball league, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As we relayed last month, Overtime Elite is a newly-former basketball league that will feature up to 30 players who are between 16 and 18 years old. These high-school-age prospects will lose their college basketball eligibility, but will be offered salaries worth at least $100K and will have the opportunity to compete against prep school and international teams, writes Wojnarowski.
The Overtime Elite league will also offer an academic tutoring component, as well as scholarship money for any player who opts not to ultimately pursue a professional basketball career.
Ollie, who appeared in a total of 662 regular season NBA games and 42 playoff contests for 11 teams during his 13-year NBA career, joined UConn as an assistant in 2010 following his retirement as a player. He was promoted to the head coaching job in 2012 and held it until 2018, when he was let go due to a handful of NCAA violations. He won a national title with the Huskies in 2014.
Ollie has penned an article for The Athletic discussing his time at UConn and explaining why the Overtime Elite role appeals to him.
According to Wojnarowski, Ollie will work with Brandon Williams – a former Kings executive who is Overtime Elite’s new executive VP and head of basketball operations – to assemble a staff of approximately 40 individuals, including coaches, trainers, counselors, and sports science and performance staffers.
Veteran college assistant Tim Fuller has also been hired by Overtime Elite as its director of scouting and recruiting, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium.
It remains to be seen how successful the Overtime Elite league will be in siphoning off talent that would otherwise be headed to major college programs, but hiring leaders who have plenty of NBA and NCAA experience represents a promising start.