College basketball might not be in the cards for LaMelo Ball.
Ball, the youngest son of the outspoken LaVar Ball, is a rising high school junior and has been committed to UCLA since he was 13. LaMelo’s oldest brother, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, played for the Bruins last season, while his other brother LiAngelo will be a freshman at UCLA this fall.
However, the Ball family’s business ventures could prevent LaMelo from playing college hoops. The 16-year-old became the first high school basketball player to have his own signature shoe — the $395 MB1s — which has raised question marks about his NCAA eligibility.
Understanding that the NCAA might want to come down on his son, LaVar Ball already has begun thinking about LaMelo’s plans post-high school. The Ball patriarch doesn’t seem too worried, either, as he expressed during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday.
“The only thing they worried about is the money,” LaVar Ball said. “How you thinking about not saying that the shoe look good or nothing like that? The first thing they’re trying to say is. ‘How can we make him ineligible?’ This has never happened before. So, you don’t even have a rule for it. You’re trying to find one. To say, ‘Yo, we gotta make him ineligible because he can’t be making money off a shoe.’
“See here’s the thing, he’s not even in the NCAA and they’re trying to make something. He’s got two more years! So why even worry about that right now? But here’s the thing, when it comes to basketball and you’re good, you just better be ready for training camp … Who cares? He won’t go to the NCAA. ‘Oh, he better go overseas.’ Why? All he gotta do is be faster and stronger. And when it’s time to prepare, we could sit out for as long as we want.”
It’s safe to say LaMelo doesn’t lead a normal adolescent life.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images