Created in 2021, Overtime Elite (OTE) is a basketball league that offers players aged 16 to 20 a new way to play pro ball. Instead of waiting four years after graduating from high school, or entering college as most hopefuls do, young athletes can choose to play immediately with OTE and earn their keep. All the while, they’re housed, educated, fed, salaried, and given a chance to play for NBA scouts. If this is starting to sound like an ad for OTE, that’s because that’s how this six-part miniseries from Amazon Prime mostly plays out. It’s an impressive facility and training ground to be sure, filled with budding basketball stars and watchable reality-show-like drama, but it often feels like an infomercial instead of a truly gripping docuseries. I wish it explained the need to create OTE, what role it plays in the current landscape, and how it can possibly change the rules of playing ball in the US. I also found myself wanting to know more about the backers of the league—who funded it, why, and what future they see with it. Adding more historical context and speculation could’ve deepened the impact of this series. But as it stands, it’s an okay feature for the young athletes. It gives them their 15 minutes of fame and boasts their impressive physicality, even though it intercuts them with commercials.
Actor: Amen Thompson, Ausar Thompson, Eli Ellis