LaVar Ball wasn’t bluffing when he pulled LiAngelo Ball out of UCLA so him and his younger brother, LiAngelo Ball, could explore their overseas options.
As LaVar told ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman on Thursday, LiAngelo and LaMelo have officially signed with Lonzo Ball’s agent, Harrison Gaines, and will now look to suss out their pro options overseas. He also confirmed that LaMelo wouldn’t be playing college basketball:
LaVar Ball told ESPN that his sons LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have signed with agent Harrison Gaines, ending any speculation that LaMelo will play college basketball. The plan is now for both to play on the same team overseas.
“I don’t care about the money,” LaVar Ball said on Thursday morning. “I want them to go somewhere where they will play them together on the court at the same time. The priority is for the boys to play on the same team.”
Ball said earlier this week that the plan was still for LaMelo, who withdrew from Chino Hills (California) High School early in his junior season, to play at UCLA in two years. However, the elder Ball told ESPN that won’t be the case.
“He’s not going to play college basketball,” Ball said.
General consensus on this move is maybe split. Most seem to think it’s a bad idea, and that LaVar is actually hurting his sons futures by ripping them from environments that, unlike many overseas situations, have the time and resources to invest in development.
Others see this a potentially innovative ploy. The Balls, after all, are taking back control of their futures. They haven’t tethered themselves to college basketball’s one-and-done rule. They are putting themselves in a position to capitalize on their play, and their brand, as they see fit right.
Question is: Will either of them find a home overseas that prepares them for a brighter future, perhaps in the NBA, or at the very least for a prosperous international career? Only time can tell, and it sure looks like it’ll be revealing something soon.