It’s not an NBA license and that doesn’t appear to be in works anytime soon, but Topps will once again be producing basketball cards this year after striking a deal with Overtime Elite, a new basketball league for teenage prospects.
The first of four Overtime Elite cards launched Thursday on the Topps NOW platform. The group includes Jalen Lewis, Bryce Griggs, TJ Clark and Izan Almansa, all of whom have signed on to play in the new league.
Overtime Elite offers players a different pathway to the NBA or overseas leagues than the traditional high school/college route, providing a salary and teaching life skills while setting aside college scholarship money if a pro career doesn’t materialize. Investors in the league include Drake, Jeff Bezos, Alexis Ohanian and over two dozen current and former NBA players like Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Trae Young and Carmelo Anthony.
The cards are priced at $9.99 via this page on Topps’ website but can be purchased cheaper in quantity.
“At OTE, giving our athletes as many ways to connect with fans as possible is a top priority and partnering with Topps is an integral piece of that.” said Aaron Ryan, OTE Commissioner and President. “Having your own trading card is something many kids dream about, especially young athletes, so to have Topps on board to make these dreams a reality is a huge deal for us and our athletes. We’re thrilled to be a part of bringing their brand back into basketball with the next generation of stars.”
The cards will be released in batches over the next month. Topps OTE products will be integrated into content with exclusive drops and additional content coverage including a first-of-its-kind competition show where artists compete to create special edition OTE cards.
Topps will also create physical trading cards of Overtime Elite players for their Topps Chrome and Topps Inception series that will be available at hobby shops and big box retailers including Target and Walmart.
The first box-set products will drop this December and will feature all 24 inaugural OTE players plus bonus cards.
“We’re excited to partner with Overtime Elite to capture their historic inaugural season through trading cards,” said David Leiner, Topps’ Global General Manager, Sports and Entertainment. “As Topps continues to expand our footprint, we’re proud to add OTE to our portfolio and be the first to showcase basketball’s rising talent.”