Projected 2023 draft top-10 picks Amen and Ausar Thompson will be part of a team sports media company Overtime is sending to compete in The Basketball Tournament, marking the first time NBA draft-eligible prospects will participate in the TBT.
The winner of TBT, a 64-team single-elimination tournament that runs from July 16 to Aug. 2, will take home a $ 1 million prize. TBT, popularized by its innovative Elam Ending, which was adopted by the NBA All-Star Game, is going into its ninth season of competition, with eight regional locations spread around the country, including one at Rucker Park in New York City.
Overtime is sending a team consisting of the Thompson twins, projected second-round pick Jazian Gortman, draft-eligible Jaylen Martin and several veterans with NBA, G League and international experience, including San Diego State alumnus Malcolm Thomas, as well as Billy White, Kwe Parker and Deven Dorsett. The team will be coached by Overtime Elite (OTE) assistant Corey Frazier and Marc Hughes, who has extensive experience with various TBT teams. Shea Dawson and Matt Verden of OTE will be the general managers.
Overtime will compete in the Omaha regional of TBT, which runs July 16-20, and will likely be heavily scouted by NBA teams because of the Thompson twins, who are the No. 5 and No. 6 prospects in ESPN’s 2023 mock draft. The winner of the regional will play a quarterfinal game July 27 in Wichita, Kansas. The remaining quarterfinals, semifinals and championship games will be held in Dayton, Ohio, and will be broadcasted by ESPN networks.
Several players with NBA experience are expected to participate in this year’s TBT, including Zhaire Smith (Air Raiders), Omari Spellman (Eberlein Drive), Antonio Blakeney (Florida TNT), CJ Miles (Sideline Cancer), Justin Patton (Omaha Blue Crew) , Jacob Evans (Nasty Nati), Kosta Koufos (Red Scare), Trevor Booker (The Money Team), James Ennis (LA Cheaters) and Semaj Christon (Zip ‘Em Up).
Overtime’s team GM Dawson says competing in the TBT was attractive for its players to provide exposure to different styles of play and levels of physicality to serve as a developmental platform through high-level competition.
“Our promise to our athletes was to build dynamic and customized plans to accelerate their path to the next level, and participating in TBT does just that,” Dawson said.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA Draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.