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This Sports Network Is Trying to Uncover the Next Superstars Through Viral Videos

Overtime Sports is helping teen athletes become household names

by Gaby Wilson
Jun 23 2019, 12:08pm

Millennials may be ushering in the demise of every other industry, but you can thank Gen Z for killing live sports. Instead of sitting down to watch a game from beginning to end, most teens would rather catch up by watching highlights on Twitter or Instagram or even TikTok.

That's the governing idea behind Overtime, a digital media network that's best known for its viral videos of rising basketball players like Zion Williamson, Dwyane Wade's son, Zaire, and LeBron James's eldest, Bronny.

To date, the company has raised $35 million, including investments from NBA stars like Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, and former commissioner David Stern.

Overtime doesn't track scores or stats. Instead, they focus on building the personal brands of promising up-and-coming players — ones with as much personality as skills on the court.

The company currently has 75 employees who work out of a Brooklyn warehouse office space. They identify talent, shoot them in action using proprietary camera technology, and then turn their high school and playground reps into video clips tailored for social media.

The attention that a feature on Overtime yields for these young athletes is potentially life-changing. Especially for those who occupy the corners of the world that traditional media tends to overlook, like small towns without big feeder colleges or women's sports.

VICE News followed Overtime in action while covering one of their biggest finds: Jada Williams, a 14-year-old from Blue Springs, Missouri with impressive shooting accuracy and ruthless, ankle-breaking handles.

This segment originally aired June 20, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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