Florida Twins Make American Pro Basketball History
Twins Matt Bewley and Ryan Bewley are making history as they become the first American basketball players to sign with a professional team without finishing high school.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the 6-foot-9 prodigies are bypassing their junior and senior seasons, as well as college basketball eligibility, to sign two-year contracts to join the new Overtime Elite professional league.
The deals have been described as “million-dollar” by the Sentinel for the Bewley brothers, who played their sophomore seasons of basketball at West Oaks Academy in Orlando.
“They are the pioneers for this league,” West Oaks coach Kenny Gillion said on Monday (May 24), according to the Sentinel. “They’re tremendous players. They’re competitive. They’re outgoing. When you see them on the court, even in games were they’re going up against future pros, they stand out. They’re the full package.”
In March, ESPN reported that the Overtime Elite league would be eyeing prospects ages 16 to 18 and will have up to 30 players, as well as possibly several teams that will train year-round and play games against American prep schools and international teams. Along with six or seven-figure salaries for all players, signees will also receive full health care, an academic program that focuses on “financial literacy, media training and social justice advocacy,” according to a press release, and guarantees of up to additional $100,000 to use for college costs.
“They’re going to wind up being millionaires before they step foot into the league, and that’s base salary, not factoring in what they could potentially make in sponsorships,” Gillion said of Matt and Ryan. “They have a personality behind them. They’re 6-9 twins. They have a following on social media. People want to see what’s next for these guys.”
The Sentinel reports that Overtime’s investors include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Drake, Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Klay Thompson and Carmelo Anthony.