The new Overtime Elite League announced the signing of its first international prospect on Friday after previously signing two sets of American high school twins.
Jean Montero, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard originally from the Dominican Republic, is the first international player to sign with the new league and is also the first professional player to sign. He has played with CB Gran Canaria in ACB/Liga Endesa, Spain’s professional basketball league, since the fall of 2019.
“From the very beginning of our process, our international scouting efforts honed in on Jean as one of the world’s top players in his age group, an electric playmaker who has been carefully and consciously mapping his career toward the 2022 draft,” said Brandon Williams, OTE’s EVP and Head of Basketball Operations. “We’re proud that he has chosen OTE as the next step on the pathway to the highest level of professionalism. His signing represents a major step forward in making the league a home and a springboard for the world’s best players.”
Montero has played two seasons with CB Gran Canaria (Spain), averaging 18.4 points and 4.6 assists per game. Earlier this year, he helped lead the club to the 7DAYS EuroCup semifinals. Montero led the Dominican Republic to a bronze medal in the FIBA U16 Americas Championship in 2019, where he averaged 30.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. You can see some of Overtime’s previous coverage of Montero here and here.
“Having played the position myself, I can’t wait to get into the gym with Jean to start building chemistry,” said Kevin Ollie, OTE’s Head Coach and Director of Player Development. “Jean has the basketball IQ and confidence that jumps out at you. Jean is a competitor that makes his teammates better and is always looking for an edge to take his game to the next level. We are ecstatic to have him join the OTE family.
Montero is the fifth player Overtime has signed in the past two weeks. Last week, the league announced that guards Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson were joining the league, just days after Overtime announced forwards Matt and Ryan Bewley as its first signees. The league expects to make additional player announcements in the coming weeks.
The Overtime League has attempted to sign several other players, including Class of 2021 big man Efton Reid, who chose LSU instead of the pro option in part because Overtime will play against prep and international competition. The league also approached at least one Class of 2022 guard in the Northeast, who passed.
A player could theoretically sign first with Overtime and then later with G League Ignite ahead of their draft class, a source said.
If a player does not make the G league, or get drafted, they can pursue pro international basketball. If players are not able play pro ball for any reason (injury, not good enough, don’t want to) the league says it is guaranteeing them an additional $100,000 towards a college education.
Overtime, has secured $80 million in financial backing from Jeff Bezos, Drake, Alexis Ohanian, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and others. The league said it will pay players guaranteed minimum salary of at least $100,000 per year, plus bonuses and shares of equity in Overtime. It also maintains 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.
Forbes – SportsMoney June 5, 2021 at 12:36AM Adam Zagoria, Contributor
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