YOUNG Filipino basketball star Francis “LeBron” Lopez has signed on to play in the brand new pro league of the Overtime Elite (OTE) in the United States.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated, the 6-foot-5 Lopez is the latest young prospect to join OTE after the likes of Jalen Lewis, who experts regard to be a top three prospect in the class of 2023.
“We’re delighted to have Lebron join the OTE family as we expand our international reach, bringing in top talent from across the globe,” Brandon Williams, OTE EVP, head of basketball operations, was quoted as saying in the report.
“Francis is a young man who has impressed us with both the combination of pure passion for the game and self-improvement, physical athleticism, work ethic, as well as many leadership intangibles. He’s the kind of player we want and expect to thrive at OTE,” Williams added.
The 18-year-old was the youngest player on the Gilas Pilipinas squad that played in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. Although he played in just one match, he made quite an impact as he compiled eight points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in just 10 minutes of action against Indonesia.
Lopez figures to earn a six-figure salary in the league with a guaranteed salary of at least $100,000 a year aside from bonuses and shares of equity in Overtime.
OTE head coach Kevin Ollie also lauded Lopez, saying, “Francis is a high-flyer with his ability to play above the rim.”
“We’re building a program for him that will develop his game more completely, so that he can achieve his dream of a professional career and as a leader on the Philippines national team for years to come,” added Ollie, who also functions as head of player development. (JNP)