LaVar Ball took his (LiAngelo) Ball and went home.
Upset with LiAngelo’s punishment for shoplifting in China, LaVar had LiAngelo leave UCLA, where Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball played and LaMelo Ball was committed. LaVar plans to train LiAngelo for the NBA, though it’s a longshot LiAngelo ever makes the top league.
LaMelo, on the other hand, has major NBA potential. He too could take an unconventional path.
LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball have started to explore options to sign internationally, sources told Yahoo Sports.
LaMelo is on track to be eligible for the 2020 draft (or 2019 if the NBA changes the one-and-done rule by then). It’s unclear whether the home-schooled LaMelo will wait until he completes high school to go overseas or jumps sooner.
Neither would be unprecedented. Jeremy Tyler skipped his senior year of high school to play internationally, and Brandon Jennings and Emmanuel Mudiay forwent college basketball.
But both paths are rare for elite prospects like LaMelo. Given the notoriety of his father (and, to lesser degree, brothers), LaMelo will have plenty of attention on his track toward professional basketball.