Every year, it seems the college basketball game loses more and more talent to the ever growing number of pre-NBA professional leagues. And on Tuesday morning, two more huge names were added to that list.
According to reports from ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, top-20 brothers Matt and Ryan Bewley are both signing two-year deals with the newly-formed Overtime Elite professional league. This decision marks them as the first prep underclassmen to sign with an American basketball league.
As five-star recruits in the 2023 class, the 6-foot-9 West Oaks Academy brothers already had a litany of offers from major Power Five programs (Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Syracuse, Florida State, etc.). Matt is currently ranked as the No. 2 overall player in the nation while Ryan follows quickly behind at No. 16 overall, per 247Sports composite rankings.
The Bewley brothers aren't the only top recruits in the 2023 class looking into this route. According to 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions, No. 3 overall recruit and high school basketball phenom Mikey Williams has a 57.1 percent chance to sign with a professional league instead of committing to a college program.
This path is certainly becoming more in the norm as of late. When Brandon Jennings made the trailblazing decision to decommit from Arizona and join an Italian pro league back in 2008, he paved the way for a new era of modern basketball. High school superstars like RJ Hampton, Emmanuel Mudiay, Terrance Ferguson, LaMelo Ball and more were all drafted in the first round of their respective NBA drafts after electing to forgo the college game.
The Overtime Elite league was conceived earlier this year and is expected to debut in September. Just a few days ago, the burgeoning league announced the location for its new 103,000 square foot complex in Atlanta where high school players aged 16-18 will be paid $100,000 per year.