HENDERSON, Nev. – Overtime Elite forwards Tyler Smith and Izan Almansa have signed with NBA G League Ignite, NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim announced today.
“As the basketball landscape evolves, the G League continues to solidify its place as a central development pathway for top talent throughout the world,” Abdur-Rahim said. “We are thrilled to welcome Tyler and Izan to the NBA G League family, where they’ll have the opportunity to learn from our NBA-caliber coaches and veterans and battle against top talent in our league. We’re excited to continue to build on the foundation started at OTE to help Tyler and Izan prepare for successful NBA careers.”
A Houston native, Smith attended George Bush High School in Fort Bend County, Texas, before signing his first professional contract with Overtime Elite in August 2021. Prior to joining OTE, the consensus five-star prospect was ranked by ESPN as the No. 8 player in the 2023 high school class.
In 2022-23 with OTE’s Cold Hearts, Smith averaged 15.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.5 percent from the field, earning All-OTE Second Team honors. In his rookie season with Team OTE in 2021-22, Smith finished fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (36.2).
Almansa, who is from Spain, is currently projected as the No. 18 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft by ESPN. He spent the past two seasons with Overtime Elite, averaging 9.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists during the 2022-23 season with YNG Dreamerz.
Last summer playing for Spain, Almansa became the first player to win MVP honors at both the FIBA U17 World Cup and the FIBA U18 European Championship.
“OTE’s mission is to develop players at a customized and accelerated rate, and Tyler and Izan are perfect examples of players who bought in and utilized every resource OTE offers for player development both on and off the court,” said Damien Wilkins, General Manager and Head of Basketball for OTE. “We have proven success in building a strong foundation for players as they look to continue their basketball careers, and we are proud and excited for both of these guys as they head to compete at G League Ignite.”
Smith and Almansa join 2023 McDonald’s All-Americans Matas Buzelis and Ron Holland, NBA Academy graduates Thierry Darlan and Babacar Sane, second-year Ignite player London Johnson and Texas high school standout Dink Pate on Ignite’s 2023-24 roster.
Ignite has produced four top 10 NBA Draft picks in the previous three years – the most by any program in that span – in Jalen Green (2021, No. 2, Houston Rockets), Jonathan Kuminga (2021, No. 7, Golden State Warriors), Dyson Daniels (2022, No. 8, New Orleans Pelicans) and Scoot Henderson (2023, No. 3, Portland Trail Blazers). Ignite has had a total of 10 NBA Draft picks in the last three years, which is the highest total for a program in that period.
About NBA G League Ignite
NBA G League Ignite is a first-of-its-kind team dedicated to developing top young prospects in preparation for the NBA Draft. Based at The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nev., the roster includes elite players who are eligible for the NBA Draft and players in the early stages of their professional basketball careers as well as NBA and NBA G League veterans who serve as mentors to the team’s young talent. In addition to accelerated on-court development and competing for an NBA G League Championship, the team focuses on life skills training that includes financial literacy education, community service involvement and scholarship opportunities.