ATLANTA — Overtime Elite kicked off its second season with a slew of future NBA talent hitting the court for three games Thursday evening. The arena had an electric atmosphere with a sold-out crowd and standing room only in some areas around the building. Sitting courtside was the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, Paolo Banchero, and four of his Orlando Magic teammates who face the Atlanta Hawks Friday night.
The No. 1 player in the 2025 class, Cameron Boozer, continues to show why he is the best high school prospect in the country, regardless of class and potential top-10 pick in the 2023 NBA draft Amen Thompson put on a flashy display in front the home crowd (twin brother, Ausar, did not play due to a minor ankle injury).
Who else impressed and are players to keep tabs on this high school season and leading up to the NBA draft? Yahoo Sports breaks down the top performers from OTE's Opening Night with scouting notes and recruiting updates.
Columbus High School (Miami), Class of 2025
Boozer plays well beyond his young age of 15 and seems to get better every time he hits the court. Boozer, at 6-foot-9, is being used more as the primary ball handler and can truly play and guard every position on the floor.
"That's something we've really focused on in practice," Boozer told Yahoo Sports. "Just pick-and-roll situation, pick-and-pop, we're just trying to take what we do in practice and go out there and compete."
He needs to tighten up his handle a bit and tends to turn the ball over in double-team situations off the block. Boozer is comfortable from letting it fly from deep and is very patient of offense, finding the right spots or holes in the defense for him to move and get easy shovel passes in the lane. Defensively, Boozer has the size and length to challenge at the rim, does an excellent job at positioning himself for rebounds and is always looking to push the ball. Boozer was the most impressive player on the court Thursday night. He did a little bit of everything, posting 28 points (three 3-pointers, 10 of 17 from the field), 20 rebounds, five assists and two steals in 31 minutes.
Boozer holds early offers from Duke, Miami, Michigan and Florida State. He and his twin brother, Cayden, have taken an unofficial visit to Florida State and are planning on getting to Duke for an unofficial visit this season.
Overtime Elite (Atlanta), draft eligible for 2023
Thompson is one of the most athletic guards in the 2023 draft class and delivered Thursday, finishing with 18 points, two assists and two steals in 25 minutes. Thompson excels in the open court and loves to finish above the rim when possible. His 3-point jumper continues to be an area of development, but he did go 1 for 1 from deep with Bronny James contesting his shot coming off a screen.
"As soon as I hit a three in a game, I automatically feel like the defense shifts and now they have to guard me and it just extends the floor and opens up the spacing for me to work off the dribble or hit teammates," Thompson told Yahoo Sports.
Thompson and his brother are both meticulous students of the game and stay in the gym constantly. Over the summer, both Amen and Ausar worked out with Stephen Curry's shooting coach and Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr., the 2022 No. 3 pick, at different times leading up to the 2022 draft.
Sierra Canyon (California), Class of 2023
This was the first big test for James as he went head-to-head with Thompson, a potential top-five draft pick. Keeping Thompson in front on defense is not an easy task, and James held his own and was disruptive. On the offensive end, he did what he does best, knocking down four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points, three assists and three rebounds.
The biggest knock of James' game is his inconsistency. Last weekend in Las Vegas, he exploded for 31 points (including six 3-pointers) in his first game and was relativity quiet, scoring in single digits, the other two games of the tournament. This was one of his better games of the summer and fall season. Once he finds his rhythm with his teammates, his numbers should be more consistent. With all the scrutiny and attention he's had his entire high school career, James carries himself very well. He never talks back to refs and his next-play mindset is apparent, letting things go if he misses a shot or turns the ball over.
"I think he's a great player and he was really poised during the game," Thompson said of the matchup. "I could tell he was fazed a little bit that I was guarding him, but he kept his composure and did stuff off the ball that helped his team."
James took an official visit to Ohio State in September and USC, Oregon and Memphis are known to be in the mix with LeBron James' son.
Donda Academy (California), Class of 2023
What an incredible scoring display by Dillingham Thursday night. The Kentucky-bound guard led all players with 36 points (5 of 8 from three, 9 of 14 from the field) and added four steals and three assists in 25 minutes.
Dillingham loves to get downhill and has tremendous body control around the rim. With each opponent he faces, he finds ways to adjust if it's bigger bodies at the rim or longer guards on the perimeter. Dillingham favors his right hand but is comfortable going left, always looking to finish on the right block on spin to the middle of the lane to finish with his right hand. Dillingham's 3-point shot is something he consistently worked on this summer and credits Chris Paul (his AAU coach during Nike's Peach Jam) for his next level of development.
"Everything I'm doing out on the court, he'll pull me aside and tell me how I can be better," Dillingham told Yahoo Sports. "It's just a blessing and I would have never known growing up that I would be around professional players and be able to learn from them and soak up their knowledge on the game."
Columbus High School (Miami), Class of 2025
Boozer, the twin brother of Cameron, has a natural feel for the game and is comfortable playing off the ball or as the primary ball handler. He has a quick first step and when the defense turns its back, he's slipping back door every time. Boozer is not as consistent from the 3-point line as his brother, but he has good shooting mechanics and prefers the catch-and-shoot style jumper over taking players off the dribble. He's a very unselfish player and there are moments where he finds his brother on the court for a play that no one saw coming.
"I know where he's always at because we've played with one another since we were little kids," Boozer told Yahoo Sports. "It's a special thing we have on the court and we just play really well together."
Boozer holds early offers from Duke, Michigan, Miami, Florida State and Missouri and finished with 19 points and five assists.
Sierra Canyon (California), Class of 2023
Ashton is the son of Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway and continues to showcase his impressive range during the fall league. Hardaway connected on 5 of 7 attempts from 3-point range and scored in a variety of ways from catch-and-shoot with a defender in his face and taking players off the dribble in the pick-and-roll option. He finished with 19 points and is a versatile stretch-four who can be plugged into multiple positions.
Hardaway, a senior, is currently uncommited and holds offers from Kansas, Oklahoma State and Boston College. After a strong fall season, more college programs will undoubtedly enter the mix.
Corona Centennial (California), Class of 2023
There's a sense of ease that comes with McCain's game. If left open, he's almost automatic from 3-point range and is tougher downhill than what meets the eye. McCain has had a long three-week travel schedule competing at the USA Basketball minicamp in Colorado Springs, the Border League in Las Vegas and now OTE's Opening Night and he has consistently delivered at each stop. Prior to the games Thursday evening, McCain jumped into practices with OTE, getting reps up against Eli Ellis and one of the top 2024 prospects, Naasir Cunningham.
The Duke-bound guard finished with 13 points (3 for 5 from deep) in 24 minutes.
Overtime Elite (Atlanta), Class of 2025
Ellis is a hard-nosed guard who is capable of making tough shots at the end of the shot clock or game clock. His first points of the night came at the very end of the first half when Thompson found him in the corner for a deep three and was fouled on the play, connecting on the four-point play. He came alive in the second half and finished with 15 points and added five assists in the win. Ellis, a sophomore, holds early offers from West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss.
"Eli is a leader at 16 years old," Thompson said. "In practice, he's one of the loudest on the court so he's never going to get discouraged about anything and can turn things around for us at different times in the game."