In March 2021, Overtime, a cutting edge sports media company, announced the creation of Overtime Elite (OTE), “a transformative new sports league,” providing an alternative pathway for high school athletes to become professional players. Backed by Overtime’s investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, Sapphire Sport, Spark Capital, Greycroft Ventures, Jeff Bezos, Drake, NBA stars such as Trae Young, Devin Booker, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant, and several others, OTE launched a league that features 27 members who play internal and external competition as well as receive a guaranteed minimum salary of at least six figures annually. Besides basketball development, the inaugural league has distinguished itself by developing a platform for its athletes to receive training in education, economic empowerment, life skills instruction, and personal branding. Based in Atlanta, OTE houses a state-of-the-art facility and boosts an experienced front office and coaching staff to help some of the world’s top prospects build successful careers on-and-off the court.
The 15th player to sign with OTE was Bryce Griggs, who previously played at Fort Bend Hightower High School (TX). In three seasons, Griggs averaged nearly 23 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game and led his team to a state championship as a tenth grader. Playing on Dave Leitao’s Team Elite at OTE, the 6’2” guard brings a nice blend of playmaking and scoring while showing craftiness in the lane and some advanced mid-range prowess.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Griggs talked about a day in the life at OTE, getting Coach Ollie on TikTok, his interest in cars, connecting with James Harden, and much more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present Overtime Elite’s Bryce Griggs, from Houston, Texas:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today?
Bryce Griggs: Just a lot of hard work. With my older brothers, I have two other brothers, so they started hooping before me. They just kind of led the way. And my father, him just working out with me every day and I have my older brothers to look up to. And one of my brothers was very elite at basketball. I got to see pros at a young age…Kevin Durant, John Wall, you know, just seeing all [of] them. So that's how I got into it.
PI: What was the highest level your brothers played at?
BG: He could have [gone] anywhere, he just chose to go to Long Island University, mid-major D1. But he had offers you know, interest from Kentucky, Baylor, all types of schools so he kind of set the bar.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
BG: My first sport was football, and I started playing around like five-ish, and they kind of didn't want me to play ‘cause I was too aggressive. And I chose to quit ‘cause my dad had played football originally. And then I just said I wanted to hoop so I gave up football, but I liked it. I was a wide receiver, but I chose to just stick to basketball after that.
PI: Has anything you learned in football translated into basketball?
BG: Just knowing, I guess my level of my talent, I guess, from other kids and I feel like I could play multiple sports. And I just chose to play basketball, ‘cause I was so talented in football — how I could just catch the football so we're all like… ‘cause I didn’t practice or nothing. So, I was just like, “let me take this to basketball” so I just took it over to basketball.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and play style?
BG: I feel like me just going downhill, being a leader, leading my team, getting everybody involved, and I can score at all three levels. I can hit difficult mid-ranges, finish at the rim and I can take what the defense gives me. I know how to make the right reads. And some improvements I need to work on is defense, communicating on offense and defense with my teammates. That’s about it.
PI: Who do you model your game after and try to study on film?
BG: I’d say Kyrie Irving, and try to mix everybody a little bit in my game like Michael Jordan, LeBron James and his leadership, Derrick Rose in his prime like he was always going downhill, going fast [and] putting pressure on the defense. Tracy McGrady, how he just scores so effortless[ly] and Kobe Bryant's work ethic. So I use everybody's game and put it into mine.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
BG: Just becoming a better spot-up shooter. When I don't have the ball in my hands just being ready to shoot at all times. And I feel like that’s going to translate into the NBA when I make it, because I have the mid-range, off-the-dribble three, but when I don’t have the ball in my hands just being ready to catch-and-shoot. And of course, my leadership skills on offense and defense.
PI: What is your training regimen when you get in the gym?
BG: It changes, like a couple of days ago, I woke up at 7 [AM], and I got an early lift in, a little core work in with my strength coach and then after that, I went on the court with one of my shooting coaches. And then the next day, I just had a practice and then I worked out after, and then I came back late [at] night. So it just changes. I may have two individual workouts. And then another day, I may just take it light, do recovery, and then do weights or something, but I'm always getting up shots. You know, working on the stuff I need to work on.
PI: How would you describe the basketball culture in Texas?
BG: You know Texas, it’s a tough state. I feel like there's a lot of talent out there in all Texas regions so I feel like every game you just got to have to compete, especially in playoffs — so I felt like Texas basketball has prepared me for players across the country, you know what I'm saying? Like they all just—in Texas, everybody competes. And you guys see anybody that lives in Texas, you know, everybody takes sports serious[ly], even football, basketball, so it's a lot of talent in Texas and I feel like me winning state as a tenth grader in Texas is very hard to do. I was the first player to do it at my high school so it was tough, and I feel like that's a big accomplishment of one of my goals that I had at high school.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
BG: I don’t even know. This is a question I have to think about, but I don't want to think about it too long. But, I don’t know, I really don't. A lot of great players, but at the end of the day we're just competing, and I feel like nobody really got the best of me. But there’s some great players that played and from Dior Johnson to Jay Gort [to] Jean Montero, there's a lot of great players that I played, so I don't know who's the toughest, but I played a lot of great players in the last two years.
PI: What was OTE’s pitch to you?
BG: So us being like the first ones committing and we’ll set the bar for all the younger people looking up to us and just having kids believing their dreams and follow our footsteps next — and we want this league to expand. We have a lot of talented players and once they see our draft class, the kids here, they get into the NBA Draft and proceed to the NBA. We got some kids that are going this year, so once they see some kids making it to the league, this league is gonna grow. And that's what it's all about, leaving your legacy. And I feel like this is the best situation for me and for my path. And I feel like it's easier for me, my path to the NBA. There’s so many connections.
PI: What’s an interesting anecdote or funny story you feel is unique or special to your recruitment to OTE, specifically?
BG: I’d say probably the funniest time is when…I probably have two stories. When we went to iFLY and we did indoor skydiving and this dude Belfort, he ended up finally getting to do the activity with us but everybody was all laughing so it was kind of a cool story. He finally got out his box and did something fun with us. So that was definitely one of the funniest stories. And after practice one day, Coach Ollie doesn't do a lot of social media stuff, he just tries to stay business — you know, basketball-related — and we got him to do a TikTok after practice and then you know, he walked out and he did it with us and everybody was laughing, so he did it with me and one of my other teammates…it was funny.
PI: Walk us through a day-in-the-life of Bryce Griggs.
BG: I just have to wake up. Make sure I don’t have no COVID symptoms. Make sure I don’t get nobody else sick, and come to OTE and get a little breakfast, and we'll have either school or basketball, either or. We'll have that both in our day. So if it’s just basketball first, we’ll have like an hour and a half in between. Then we'll have school after and then we'll be on break for the whole day. Then we'll come back to the gym, put up shots or get an individual session in. But during those breaks you can really just do whatever you want within the rules of OTE so we can go back to where we stay and take a nap and come back up here. Or we can…after practices, if we have a break, we can put in small work with coaches, so it all just depends on how we're feeling.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
BG: Just averaging a triple-double the second half of the season. Try not to lose no more. And just fix all the kinks in my game that I want to fix before the second half of the season is over. And I feel like that will help my draft stock and that’s one of my goals.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
BG: I like to probably go to the water park or go bowling, something like that, like to do stuff like that. Nothing too crazy, but I like to have a little fun with a little small group. And just hang out with the homies. That's about it. And my family.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
BG: I have a couple so I'm gonna say Travis Scott, Lil Baby, and Lil Uzi [Vert].
PI: Who is the best 2K player at OTE?
BG: I'll say me. I wouldn't say me in ‘PlayNow’ but ‘Park,’ I'm good at ‘MyPlayer.’ ‘MyPlayer’ is good. I’m always good every year so I take that kind of seriously when I do play so when I get on, I don’t lose.
PI: Who is the funniest?
BG: I don’t know. Probably Jay Gort. I don’t know. I don’t try to be funny. They say I’m funny, but I don’t try to.
PI: Who is the best dressed?
BG: I don’t know. I don’t know who has the best drip on the team.
PI: Who is the biggest trash talker?
BG: Probably Matt. Matt Bewley, definitely him and his brother. They just be annoying sometimes, but it'd be funny.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
BG: You only going to give me three options? That's hard. Family. Probably, family/somebody I talk to, and then I would take…TVs included up there so I probably take all my clothes and stuff, because you know you'll probably go out and I’ll need some shoes in case I work out. And I'll say my car. For sure, my car and my dog. Car and my dog, my third option.
PI: Was a car your first purchase when you received your first professional paycheck?
BG: No, definitely not. I waited until I had other deals like endorsement deals. But nah I got that car, I got [a] great deal on it so I feel like I can make money off that car when I sell it so that's the reason why I got it because then I'm making more off of it each year.
PI: What do you drive?
BG: A Hellcat Redeye 2022.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
BG: Probably from James Harden. He said “always believe in yourself before somebody ever believes.” I don’t know. He said “always believe in yourself before somebody believes in you” or something like that. “Always believe in yourself before somebody does in you,” like “make sure you always believe in yourself first, before somebody believes in you.” So always have that self-confidence. So he always walks around with that swagger and confidence. That’s why he’s so successful on the court. So I think that's one of the quotes that I got that stuck out to me.
PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?
BG: James Harden, and a couple other NBA guys I know like Kevin Durant, Kyrie, and they're all on the same team. Who else? Recently, Tracy McGrady came into my life. I text him here and there, so him and TJ Ford, John Lucas, the coach for the Rockets. Those dudes are key people in my life that I look up to and I’ll text daily or monthly, yearly, I don't know. Whenever I text them, they always respond and look out for me.
PI: What is your biggest pet peeve?
BG: I don't know (shakes head and smiles). Yeah, I’m chill.
PI: Besides playing professionally, where do you see yourself in five years?
BG: I’ll have my own dealerships, so I'd be traveling the world just dropping off cars for my company. I’ll have probably five dealerships and it'll be in my name, and I have nothing, but exotic cars. That's why I'm interested in cars, so I take that very seriously. And I feel like…I mean, put some money behind that and make a lot of money off of it. So I’ll have five key location points, probably in Miami, Dubai, California. Of course, Houston, the hometown, and probably China, somewhere like that. Like big places that people buy cars at.
PI: How has OTE helped you grow off the court?
BG: They help me a lot. Kinda mentally, we’ll have an [advisor] and we’ll have [practitioners] come and talk to us about what we need to do. [When] we need help, kinda like people that do therapy and they'll talk to us. And we’ll have a couple guys come in and talk to us about how to save money and make money off of our money that we have. So I feel like little stuff like that will help us. Of course, we'll learn the basics of academics in our classes. So, they’re on top of their jobs. So they're doing a great job.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
BG: Humble, positive, mentality, and probably focus.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
BG: Just when I want to leave, I want to leave behind me as a person, always making people laugh, always being a good person, they need someone to always help them. My presence, you know, make sure to always be remembered and this is stuff that I teach people besides the good and the bad. Just the lessons that I teach people, younger people or older people, the stuff I’ve been through. I always want to leave myself as raw as it could be. Just be me. There's only one Bryce I feel like, and I want to go out just people remembering me as that. And that’s it, just being me and then basketball, I want to leave myself behind, just the best Bryce I can be. I want to be a Hall of Famer, Rookie of the Year, All-Star a couple years if not every year that I’m in the NBA, so…just those goals. They’re big goals, but I feel like I can achieve them if I keep working.
Watch the full interview with Bryce, here.