Former NBA player and national title-winning head coach Kevin Ollie is joining the Overtime Elite basketball league as its inaugural head coach and head of player development, he announced in a firsthand piece for The Athletic on Monday.
Ollie played 13 seasons in the NBA while suiting up for 11 franchises from 1997 to 2010 following a successful four-year run at UConn. He returned to Storrs at the end of his playing days, taking the coaching reins after Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun's retirement in 2012.
The former guard enjoyed considerable success during his stint with the Huskies, winning the NCAA Tournament in 2014 and posting an overall record of 127-79 over six seasons.
However, his tenure ended in ignominy in 2018 after an NCAA investigation into several infractions, including recruiting violations and failing to promote an atmosphere of rule compliance among his staff and players.
Ollie received a three-year show-cause penalty in July 2019. The Division I infractions appeals committee upheld the punishment last May, complicating the 48-year-old's potential return as an NCAA bench boss. He remains in arbitration with UConn over the remaining $10 million left on his contract.
However, the Overtime Elite doesn't fall within the NCAA's confines. The elite prospect development program, which was announced in early March and counts NBA luminaries such as Carmelo Anthony among its backers, plans to allow its high-school-aged players to draw a salary with additional compensation, including funds set aside for schooling.
Though participation in the Overtime Elite program would result in players forfeiting their amateur status, top professional prospects have increasingly found new avenues to the NBA beyond the traditional college pipeline.