The elite are the group thought to be the best and having the highest status. In the middle ages, only elite men were taught to read and write.
There are elite schools, elite teams, and elite players, some really the best and some just calling themselves the best. Who can join the basketball elite besides LeBron James and Michael Jordan? That's a matter of opinion. Elite is used with a singular or plural verb, depending on whether these special people are considered together as a group or as individual members of a group.