Rockets: 4 things that separate Amen Thompson from even the best prospects

2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot
2023 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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1. Overtime Elite’s player development program is superior compared to NCAA

The NCAA is much more competitive than OTE (Overtime Elite), but I believe that’s where all the benefits stop regarding individual player development. First, we must understand that the competition level at OTE is filled with 4-star and 5-star high school prospects, and in just their third season, they were able to produce two top-5 draft picks in the 2023 NBA draft.

One of the biggest differences between the NCAA and OTE is that NCAA coaches are expected to win games for their respective programs, while OTE is much more focused on “developing fully formed people”, a quote from John Calipari (Head Coach of the Kentucky Wildcats regarding his take on OTE per Kyle Tucker of The Athletic). OTE also fields several NBA and NCAA veterans such as Kevin Ollie, who is the head of coaching and basketball development, Ryan Gomes, Dave Leitao, and Damien Wilkins, who is the general manager.

While the NCAA limits players to 20 hours of practice a week, players in OTE can train and utilize professional resources all throughout the day without restrictions. With the financial backing of Jeff Bezos, Drake, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and many other big-time investors, Overtime Elite is here to stay.

Even the NCAA had to change their eligibility rules to “re-allow” OTE players to play for colleges again. Normally a high-school player who has received compensation for their play is no longer eligible.

" “College, it’s about the program. It’s about winning now, and at OTE, it’s about making sure that player is ready for the league or wherever is next for them.”"

Amen Thompson

Competition is important, but once a player has that competitive mindset, it is skill development that will push the limits of a player. Even the great late Kobe Bryant acknowledges the importance of individual training over competitive offseason runs.

Although these runs could never compare to the gravity of a NCAA tournament, it still underlines the benefits of getting more repetitions versus just playing the game to compete at the NBA level.