ATLANTA (April 25, 2022) - OTE (Overtime Elite) announced today the signing of Naasir Cunningham, the consensus #1 ranked player from the 2024 class. Cunningham is the first athlete to sign and join OTE for the second season. Cunningham will join OTE as a scholarship athlete and has not accepted a salary, preserving his NCAA basketball eligibility.
Cunningham is a 6’7” forward from Gladstone, New Jersey. As a sophomore at Gill St. Bernards, Cunningham averaged 13.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1 block per game. All major recruiting services rank Cunningham as the top recruit in the class of 2024.
“To be elite, you have to want to compete against the best, and that is exactly why Naasir has chosen to join Overtime Elite,” said Kevin Ollie, OTE Head Coach and Director of Player Development. “Naas is that rare athlete that is not only blessed with talent, but also innate leadership qualities, and a relentless desire to get better. We can’t wait to welcome him to Atlanta and to get to work”.
Cunningham joins OTE’s 19 returning players - a group of elite basketball talent seeking an alternative and accelerated path to a professional basketball career. He is the eighth five star recruit to join OTE, since the league launched in 2021.
“Before I knew his name, rank, or background, Naasir was one of the first prospects I evaluated upon joining OTE,” said Tim Fuller, VP Recruiting and Player Personnel. “I saw his lightning speed in transition, ability to slash and score in tight spaces, and soft touch on his jump shot and knew he would be a great fit for Overtime Elite. His elite talent and his phenomenal support system in his father Erik and his mom Felicia will be great additions to our OTE family.”
OTE finished its inaugural season in March, with Team Elite capturing the first OTE championship defeating Team OTE 52-45 in the decisive third game of the best-of-three series. Ausar Thompson was named Finals MVP after averaging nearly a double-double with 17 points, 9 rebounds. 4 assists and 2 blocks per game.
Every contracted OTE player is offered a six-figure salary, with a guaranteed minimum salary of at least $100,000 per year, plus bonuses and shares of equity in Overtime. In addition, players will participate in revenue from use of their name, image and likeness, including through sales of custom jerseys, trading cards, video games and NFTs. This year's players have the option to choose a scholarship or salary option.
OTE (Overtime Elite) is a transformative new sports league that offers the world’s most talented young basketball players a better pathway to becoming professional athletes, while engaging and inspiring a new community of digitally native fans.
OTE (pronounced Oh-Tee-E) provides a comprehensive accelerator for elite players’ professional careers. The league offers a year-round development program combining world-class coaching, cutting-edge sports science and performance technologies, top-notch facilities, and a rigorous, highly personalized academic program that enhances each athlete’s journey from proficiency to pro.