2023 NBA Draft Combine: Amen and Ausar Thompson could go from Overtime Elite to first twins drafted in top 10

CHICAGO – In the spring of 2021, as star hires flew off the board to sign with colleges for that fall, twins Amen and Ausar Thompson — then increasing high school juniors considered 2 of the leading potential customers in their class — made the non-traditional option to sign with new start-up league Overtime Elite as it got off the ground for its inaugural season. The choice sent out shockwaves throughout the hoops landscape that resounded throughout the community: first-class guards with this pedigree usually traditionally land at a Kentucky, a Duke or any of the other significant college programs throughout the nation. But nope — not the Thompson twins. 

Instead, they signed two-year offers to sign up with OTE in what is rapidly ending up being a reputable developmental program focused on developing gamers on and off the court to measure up to other courses like college, G League Ignite and the abroad NBL. It included a huge payday, to be sure — which gamers can now get in college with NIL, however was not offered to college gamers at the time — however it likewise included a liberty of other problems and duties, which has actually permitted the duo in 2 brief years to bloom into authentic lotto potential customers in the 2023 NBA Draft. 

“We got more development [at OTE],” Amen Thompson informed CBS Sports on Thursday. “More hours, more time in the gym, more opportunities, more time to work on some of our weaknesses. Some guys in college or elsewhere have only a certain amount of time to adjust and learn, but we could be in the gym all day.”

Quipped Whitney Bell, the league’s director of interactions: “They are in the gym all day.”

Don’t take their word for it or mine; take the NBA’s. The league is 6 weeks far from making the Thompson twins possibly the very first brother or sister set to go top-10 in the exact same draft. That does not take place by mishap. Some mix of drive, ability and athleticism has actually powered them to the verge of making history. Other twins have actually been chosen in the exact same draft. In 2008, Brook Lopez was the No. 10 choice by the Nets and Robin Lopez was the No. 15 choice by Phoenix. And in 20111, Markieff Morris was the No. 13 choice by Phoenix and Marcus Morris went to Houston at No. 14  in 2011. But no set of twins have actually both been chosen inside the leading 10 of the exact same draft.

But that might alter this year. Amen is ranked as the No. 5 gamer on the CBS Sports Big Board. Ausar is No. 6.

It was a gamble then to blaze a course no gamer prior to them had actually taken. College was (and still is) a location where gamers can get direct exposure and get ready for the NBA. G League Ignite has actually emerged a practical course, thanks to comparable gambles from Jalen Green and financial investments from the NBA. But OTE was simply an idea — a gamble pertained to fulfillment through capital expense from the similarity Kevin Durant, Jeff Bezos and Drake and after that pressed to a brand-new stratosphere by the twins, who have actually completed their time with OTE and come out as 2 of the most amazing potential customers in the 2023 class.

Ahead of the last day of the NBA Draft Combine on Thursday, I talked with the twins in the arena for a rapid-fire Q&A as they finished up their week in Chicago. 

Q: One alarm clock or several alarm clocks?

Ausar: I have like 10 alarms.

Amen: I have 3 or 4. Five feels ludicrous. Three or 4 is best.

Ausar: The initially one is to wake me up. The next one is to ensure I’m in fact up.

Q: What time is the alarm clock set?

Ausar: 5:50

Amen: 6:00

Q: Acceptable to hoop in AirPods or nah? 

Amen: Like in an exercise setting or in five-on-five? (I stated in a five-on-five setting.)

Amen: Unacceptable.

Ausar: Unacceptable. 

Q: Is a hotdog a sandwich?

Amen: No, a hotdog is a hotdog.

Ausar: A hotdog is a hotdog.

Q: Favorite emoji?

Amen: The typical laughing face.

Ausar: That’s mine, too.

Q: LeBron or MJ?

The twins, in unison: LeBron.

Amen includes: MJ is fantastic, too.

Q: Favorite film?

Amen: I do not view a great deal of films in fact.

Q: Favorite television program?

Amen: Attack on Titan.

Ausar: I view Attack on Titan.

Amen: I’m viewing Snowfall today too. I’m ready to complete Season 1.

Thursday’s significant efficiencies 

Some of the leading entertainers from Wednesday’s skirmish action — O-Max Prosper and Tristan Vukčević — were scratched from getting involved Thursday, probably due to the fact that they assisted themselves a lot on Day 1 they might just decrease from there. Still, there were a lot of huge entertainers Thursday. 

Seth Lundy, Amari Bailey and Ben Sheppard were the most significant winners of the 2nd day of action. Sheppard scored 25 points on 8 of 10 shooting and truly showcased his shot-making capability. Bailey followed up his efficient Wednesday with an efficient Thursday, kipping down 19 points and 6 helps. Lundy had 18 points and ignited in his skirmish, topping what was an efficient week for him in Chicago.

Toumani Camara and Terquavion Smith likewise played well in their time on the flooring including 15 and 20 points, respectively. Camara had a truly good day on both ends, that included taking a charge on defense and after that making 2 shots around the rim with a high degree of problem — one a finger roll at the rim and another a floater as he ran down the lane.

Weber State’s Dillon Jones once again assisted himself on Thursday to round off a strong week. He had 2 no-look, one-handed helps through traffic in successive belongings throughout five-on-five work, and looked positive and comfy making plays and dispersing for others a day after revealing he might score.

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