Bryson Warren, the No. 14 basketball prospect in ESPN’s Class of 2023, has signed with Overtime Elite, the league told ESPN on Thursday.
Warren is the eighth five-star recruit to sign with the upstart league. Considered one of the top guard prospects in the class, Warren shunned offers from Arkansas, Tennessee, Kansas, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Auburn and others. He received his first scholarship offer from Oral Roberts as a 14-year-old middle-schooler.
Warren was the first sophomore to be named Arkansas Basketball Coaches Association High School Player of the Year after leading Little Rock Central to a 23-5 record and the Class 6A state title game while averaging 24.1 points, 3.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game and shooting 44% from 3. He transferred this summer to Link Academy in Missouri but will not play for it after signing his Overtime deal.
Playing up a year on the competition as a 16-year-old in the Nike EYBL 17U circuit this summer, Warren averaged 10.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 23 minutes over 12 games with Mokan Elite.
Warren, who will turn 17 in October, is not eligible for the NBA draft until 2024 unless he is able to graduate high school a year early and could then enter the 2023 draft, which he would be eligible for due to his age.
Standing 6-foot-2 with a lean frame, Warren has drawn comparisons to players like Darius Garland and CJ McCollum with his impressive scoring instincts. He is considered one of the best shot-makers in high school basketball, regularly pulling up from well beyond the arc from difficult vantage points. He plays a fearless brand of basketball, with a quick release on his jump shot and the ability to handle and pass the ball fluidly operating out of hesitation moves.
Dominick Barlow, ranked No. 80 in the Class of 2022 by ESPN, has also left his prep school and is planning to sign with Overtime Elite, sources told ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein and Jeff Borzello. Barlow is expected to sign a two-year deal, sources said.
Barlow, a 6-foot-9 forward from New Jersey, made his debut in the ESPN 100 earlier this week. He graduated from Dumont High School in New Jersey last spring with only mid-major interest but saw his recruitment escalate rapidly this summer after joining New York Rens and delivering a series of impressive performances at the EYBL in July.
He was set to do a post-graduate year at Bridgton Academy in Maine, where he arrived late last week, only to depart after his first workout with the team.
Warren and Barlow will be the 20th and 21st players to sign with Overtime Elite, bringing it close to its stated goal of 24 players for the inaugural season.
OTE has made significant headway since its inception in March, with its goal of becoming a legitimate alternative pathway for elite high school and international prospects to use as a training program and exposure platform. Thanks to significant financial backing and the hires of NCAA national championship-winning coach Kevin Ollie and several former NBA executives, OTE has signed five-star recruits Jalen Lewis, Amen Thompson, Ausar Thompson, Matt Bewley, Ryan Bewley, Jazian Gortman and Tyler Smith, while also landing a projected top-20 pick in 2022 in Dominican guard Jean Montero.
Several heralded European 16-year-olds also have been signed: Izan Almansa from Spain, Alexandre Sarr from France, Nathan Missia-Dio from Belgium and Tudor Somacescu from Romania.
OTE has three spots to fill as its teams assemble in Atlanta in the coming weeks to begin training and playing games against academies, prep schools in the United States and international teams abroad. OTE’s 24 players will be split into three teams and also play competitive games against one another.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.