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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / August 17.
  • LaVar Ball says LaMelo Ball could ‘sit out’ college over NCAA sneaker flap and prepare for NBA

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    LaVar Ball says his youngest son LaMelo Ball could “sit out” his college career and prepare for the NBA if the NCAA rules him ineligible because of his signature Big Baller Brand sneaker.

    The 6-foot-3 Ball is a junior at Chino Hills (CA) High School who has verbally committed to UCLA, where one older brother Lonzo Ball spent last season before being drafted No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. LiAngelo Ball, the middle of the three brothers, is also a UCLA freshman. LaMelo Ball is set to enroll at UCLA in 2019 and would be eligible for the 2020 NBA Draft.

    “When it comes to basketball and you’re good, you just better be ready for [NBA] training camp,” the elder Ball said Wednesday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “So they can’t stop me by saying, ‘OK, he’s not going to the NCAA.’ Who cares, he won’t go to the NCAA.

    “‘Oh, he better go overseas.’ Why? All he gotta do is be faster and be stronger and when it’s time to prepare, we can sit out for as long as we want. If they’re going to give him a chance, they’re going to give him a chance.”

    Ball, has “meticulously designed and inspired” the “MELLO BALL 1” or MB1, which is available for sale on BBB’s website for $395. BBB calls the MB1 “the first signature shoe launched by a high school basketball player.”

    This has led to concerns over LaMelo’s college eligibility, as Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann detailed here.

    “I’m good with that on the fact that they’re not even looking at it like, OK this father just gave his son a shoe so he can perform better to his liking,” LaVar said.

    “The only thing they’re worried about is the money,” LaVar added. “How you thinking about, not saying that the shoe looks 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 we gotta make him ineligible because he can’t be making money off a shoe.”


    Photo: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.