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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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Wednesday / December 12.
  • LaMelo Ball, Spire to play at both Hoophall events

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    LaMelo Ball and his Spire Academy teammates will play at both Hoophall West and Hoophall East, sources told ZAGSBLOG.

    Spire will face Bella Vista Prep on Dec. 7 in Hoophall West (7:30, ESPN+), and then will meet Our Savior New American Jan. 19 at the Hoophall East at Springfield College.

    Ball, the 6-foot-7 guard who initially committed to UCLA, is back in the high school ranks after stints playing professionally in Lithuania and with the Junior Ballers Association.

    He has said he hopes to play at a top American college like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky or Michigan State, but it remains unclear if he’ll be eligible for college.

    LaVar Ball, the player’s famous father, said recently of LaMelo: “He’s the most entertaining, most notable high school player ever. People say that he’s better than LeBron, [Michael] Jordan — anybody.

    “Nobody knew LeBron when he was in high school in London. In Germany. In Latvia. In Lithuania. The social media wasn’t like that. Melo was in the social media era where it blows everything up to astronomical proportions.”

    Jermaine Jackson, who played in the NBA for the Pistons, Raptors, Hawks and Knicks and is now the Spire head coach, says Ball could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in a couple of years.

    “In my opinion, LaMelo Ball can be the No. 1 pick in a year or two going to the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Jackson told TMZ Sports.

    “Ain’t no question about it.”

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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.