Boys basketball: Tampa Catholic’s Karter Knox to play for Overtime Elite — July 31

Tampa Catholic’s Karter Knox, a five-star recruit, will play his senior season with the Overtime Elite, which is based out of Atlanta, Crusaders coach Don Dziagwa said.

“It came down to the opportunity to make NIL money,” Dziagwa said. 

Knox, who was named the Class 3A state player of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers this past season, led the Crusaders to consecutive state semifinal appearances as a sophomore and junior. 

He was intent on leading them to a state title this season, something that his older brother, Kevin Knox II, was unable to do during his career at Tampa Catholic.

But the multiple NIL deals Knox can earn is “a significant amount of money,” Dziagwa said. 

The Overtime Elite is a professional league for players ages 16-20 who can option to play for a salary or a scholarship in order to keep their college eligibility intact. 

Knox, who whittled his list of college offers down to a top eight earlier this summer, plans on taking the scholarship route and earning money via NIL opportunities, according to his father, Kevin Knox.

That was something Knox would not have been able to do had he remained at Tampa Catholic or transferred to other national programs in the state, such as Montverde or IMG Academy, considering NIL opportunities are not allowed in Florida. 

“Karter didn’t really want to leave,” his father said. “He wanted to try to become the school’s all-time leading scorer and win a state title. If the state offered those (NIL) opportunities, it would have been a much tougher decision.

“This also gives Karter the ability to have constant training on a daily basis in an IMG type of setup. It is an extremely lucrative opportunity, not just in the money available, but in the value of getting Karter prepared for the next level. It’s just another layer to add to the foundation.”

Knox’s younger sister, Ashley, a sophomore on the girls basketball team who already has offers from Auburn and Louisville, will remain at Tampa Catholic. 

As for Knox’s college decision, that likely will come sometime around Christmas according to his father. Knox’s final eight includes Arkansas, Auburn, Florida State, Kentucky, Louisiana State, Louisville and South Florida. 

Several programs on the list have family ties. 

  • Knox’s father, Kevin Knox, played football at FSU. 
  • His oldest brother, Kevin, played one season at Kentucky before becoming an NBA lottery pick. 
  • Another older brother, Kobe, signed with USF.

The final one to make the cut was the NBA G League Ignite, a developmental team designed for elite NBA prospects.

Knox has not ruled out playing a year in the G League before entering the draft. 

Without Knox, Tampa Catholic’s boys basketball team might have to scramble to fill out its tournament schedule. The Crusaders were supposed to play in several national tournaments this season, but Dizagwa said those were likely contingent on having Knox on the roster.

“It’s always tough to lose a player of that caliber,” Dziagwa said of Knox. “I had a long conversation with the family, and completely understood the decision. (The family felt) it was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.”