Overtime Elite adds Puerto Rican guard Emmanuel Maldonado, forward Jai Smith

Overtime Elite adds Puerto Rican guard Emmanuel Maldonado, forward Jai Smith

ATLANTA (June 21, 2021) – OTE (Overtime Elite) announced today that Jai Smith has signed with the transformative new league and will be part of its inaugural season this September. Smith is a 6-foot-9-inch, 235-pound forward, originally from Syracuse, New York, who recently played for Word of God Academy (Raleigh, North Carolina). 

(Editor's Note: Read our Spencer Davies' exclusive interview with Aaron Ryan and Brandon Williams, and an extensive profile on Overtime Elite here.)

“Jai has been a sought after recruit, with dozens of scholarship offers from some of the country’s best college programs. But in pursuit of a high-level pro path, he joins OTE as a key building block to a unique competitive training and development environment,” said Brandon Williams, OTE EVP, Head of Basketball Operations. “We recognize Jai as an intelligent, high-motor player, that will impact play on both ends, who will put in the work to make the most of this unique opportunity.”

“You can’t watch Jai play without being impressed by his athleticism,” said Kevin Ollie, OTE’s Head Coach and Director of Player Development. “We’re going to develop Jai’s complete game both on and off the court to prepare him for a sustained and successful career at the next level.” 

Smith is the 7th player to join OTE. In the past few weeks, the league announced the signings of top-rated guards Amen and Ausar Thompson and forwards Matt Bewley and Ryan Bewley. OTE signed its first international player, point guard Jean Montero from the Dominican Republic and recently announced the signing of Emmanuel Maldonado from Puerto Rico. The league expects to make additional player announcements in the coming weeks.

Maldonado's press release:

ATLANTA (June 10, 2021) – OTE (Overtime Elite) announced today that point guard Emmanuel Maldonado, has signed with the transformative new league and will be part of its inaugural season this September.

Maldonado, who is originally from Puerto Rico, is a 6-foot-3-inch, 170-pound point guard who recently played for Dynasty Academy (Orlando, Florida). He’s also spent time at Centre Point Academy, Prodigy Prep and Downey Christian School. Maldonado is a member of the Puerto Rico U19 national program.

“We are thrilled to welcome Emmanuel to the OTE family. Not only is Emmanuel a talented player with high upside, his confidence and fearlessness, born out of his personal story of perseverance, is an inspiration and will fuel the competitive culture within OTE,” said Brandon Williams, OTE EVP, Head of Basketball Operations.

“Emmanuel is one of Puerto Rico’s most promising prospects with his speed and ability to score anywhere on the court,” said Puerto Rico U19 Head Coach Jorge A. Rincon. “We’re excited about incorporating his development at OTE into our national program, not only as we compete for a U19 world championship but also as a future leader for our adult national team.”

Maldonado is the sixth player to join OTE. In the past few weeks, the league announced that guards Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson were joining the league, just days after OTE announced forwards Matt and Ryan Bewley as its first signees. OTE also signed its first international player last week, point guard Jean Montero from the Dominican Republic. The league expects to make additional player announcements in the coming weeks.

OTE provides a comprehensive accelerator for elite players’ professional careers. The league, a division of next-generation sports brand Overtime, 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 energizes and enhances each athlete’s journey.

Every OTE player will earn 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.

About OTE

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 energizes and enhances each athlete’s journey from proficiency to pro.

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