With the emergence of Overtime Elite, high school-aged players are now getting an opportunity to play in a professional setting, surrounded by a coaching staff with NBA and college backgrounds, alongside high-level on-and-off court training resources. This environment allows these players to see how they measure up against some of the best talent in their age bracket. One of the players fresh onto the Overtime Elite scene is internet sensation Eli Ellis, a four-star rated sophomore guard. Ellis is known for his scoring ability, especially being able to knock down threes from range, and his swagger both on and off the floor. Eli and his brother Isaac Ellis (a highly-touted freshman guard who holds offers from West Virginia, College of Charleston and High Point) also have their own reality TV show, “Family Business,” which streams on YouTube.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Ellis discussed the process of joining Overtime Elite, the latest with his recruitment, what he’s focused on improving both on and off the floor, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Eli Ellis, from Hickory, North Carolina:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today?
Eli Ellis: It started off at Moravian [Prep]. Moravian has a really good culture, very hard working, no excuses, I learned a lot from there. It helped me a lot to get the opportunity to play with Overtime Elite. I’m doing well right now playing with the Thompson twins, who are projected top-10 NBA draft picks, so I’m just learning a lot and getting better playing against good competition.
PI: How did the opportunity come about to play with Overtime Elite?
EE: I was at Moravian at the time and OTE wasn’t really in my sights, and it was two weeks before Moravian Prep’s season, and my dad asked me if I wanted to go to OTE, and I said “yeah, sure.” The next day, my dad told me the opportunity with OTE fell through. I got up the next morning before leaving to go to a workout and my dad tells me, “are you ready to go to Atlanta? We are going to go visit OTE.” We ended up going to OTE, saw the facilities, met all the people, and just knew it was a done deal. I ended up signing while I was there and now that’s where I’m at.
PI: Describe your current role with OTE. How do you see your role at the next level?
EE: My role with OTE is to be an impact scorer and knock down threes. Also, getting stops and making hard-working plays. I have really taken on this role that I’m not the main scorer, not the main player because we have draft picks and high quality players on this team, so I’m learning how to be a role player.
PI: Can you describe your experience at Moravian Prep and what it was that has been like playing for your father?
EE: Moravian really matured me as a basketball player and as a man, just learning stuff that has nothing to do with basketball and things that can help you in life. Without Moravian, I don’t know where I would be.
PI: Are there any other athletes in your family who played at a high level?
EE: Yeah, so my dad played in college at Liberty University and my mom was a Division I volleyball player, too. Athletics and competitiveness run in our family.
PI: When did you primarily start to focus on basketball? Did you play any other sports growing up?
EE: My dad wanted us to find something that we loved no matter what it was, so he threw us into everything. I was a state champion wrestler, I also played baseball, soccer and football. He just said “find one thing that you love and put everything into it.”
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths?
EE: I would say my scoring ability and my competitiveness. I have never been on a losing team and no matter if we start losing, at the end of the year we are going to be winning.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
EE: Definitely Payton Pritchard, he’s been a really good guy to watch. I also watch a lot of Trae Young because he’s a smaller guard shooting it from deep and his handles, mid-range, his floater in the lane — a lot of things to watch.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
EE: Defense is something I have been focusing on this year with Overtime playing against top players, so I have been guarding the best player, whether it’s the Thompson twins or whoever I can to get better defensively and I have gotten a lot better. Also, really working on being a vocal leader. I feel I’ve been a good leader lately and I’m trying to be more vocal and trying to help my teammates.
PI: What’s it like competing against the Thompson twins everyday in practice?
EE: It’s crazy. Every single day they do something that you’ve never seen before, so really just being able to play with NBA-level guys and see that I can compete on that level is really cool.
PI: It sounds like Overtime Elite has already really helped you grow as a player.
EE: It has taught me a lot. While at Moravian, I learned a lot there. I felt I learned as much as I could, so I had to go somewhere else. Overtime Elite has taught me a lot in life, lately, whether it is off-the-court things, what happens in a system, what happens with NBA and scouting; it has taught me a lot of things outside of basketball.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
EE: Being an impactful player on the City Reapers OTE team I’m on now and I want to play in college and be a really good college player, so those are my goals right now.
PI: Recruitment-wise, which schools are recruiting you the most right now?
EE: West Virginia, Ole Miss, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
PI: Any dream schools you would like to hear from?
EE: UNC is my dream school, I really like UNC.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
EE: I grew up with Rob Dillingham out in North Carolina. We grew up in the same area and I’ve played against him ever since I was little, so definitely my guy Rob.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice in terms of college options?
EE: Definitely their culture. The type of culture they have is everything. It is what everything goes off of — and the coaching staff for sure.
PI: Switching gears a bit — what’s your typical pregame meal?
EE: If it’s a big game and I want to eat a nice meal I’ll go with Chicken Alfredo.
PI: If you woke up tomorrow to see a fortune in your bank account, what would be your first purchase?
EE: I’ve always seen the basketball courts on an island; having one of those would be super cool.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists and who are you listening to before a game?
EE: I listen to a lot of NBA Youngboy, Rod Wave and Giveon.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
EE: I would probably pursue being a financial advisor. That will probably be my job after basketball. I know some people in that business and I really like that aspect of work.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
EE: It’s hard to pick one. “No excuses,” “work will show,” things like that have stuck with me.
PI: Besides the NBA, where do you see yourself in five years?
EE: I got three more years of high school, so I’ll be a sophomore in college, and really just being a face of a college and community.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
EE: Just a motivation to other kids and those my age that you don’t have to be the tallest or the most athletic and that if you just work and put the time in, that you can do it and make it.