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.
Following UCLA’s 97-80 win over Kent State on Friday night, UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball was asked about his mother’s health while on the podium.
Here’s the interaction:
Q. Lonzo, there was a report that your mom suffered a stroke. I just want to know if that was the case and how you’re holding up if that’s the case?
LONZO BALL: I got no comment on that, man. It’s a family thing.
The question apparently stemmed from a report from the site armchairallamericans.com which quoted an anonymous member of the Ball family as saying Tina Ball had suffered a stroke.
Here’s an excerpt from the story by Andrew Stephens:
About an hour after the article was run, I received a comment on it from a member of the Ball family, who wishes to remain anonymous. The comment (which has since been removed to protect the email address and identity of the commenter) read as follows:
-“Wow. You nailed it. Although you don’t even know the half of it. Lavar took over the high school program, added the Coach, his puppet (which is why he quit last year after becoming the national coach of the year) and Lavar stepped on and crushed countless other kids’ careers and love for the game to get his kids on the court. If you are allowed to shoot at any time from any where and never come out of the game, any decent idiot could score 30 points.Also, Tina Ball, his wife had a stroke on Feb 21. She had life threatening skull surgery to relieve brain pressure – guess where Lavar was during the operation that could have killed his wife? – at the CHHS vs. LB Poly game with his sons, including Lonzo. He still has not allowed his kids to see their sick mother due to the media attention it would bring to him, and cause BBB sales to diminish. [Name of hospital] in [City of hospital], CA – Tina is there now and he only visits for 1 hour a few days a week, while her Mother has yet to leave her side. Pathetic!!!”
Who knows what to make of all of this at this point, but it’s news that Lonzo was asked about it on the podum.
Ball, the projected No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft per DraftExpress.com, also suffered a hip injury after a fall in the game but downplayed it.
“I’m fine,” he said after scoring 15 points. “Finished the game, got up. I’m good.”
Said UCLA coach Steve Alford: “Matters that he just got up. I didn’t know if he was going to finish the game. I just wanted him to get up. He went down hard, obviously, and he will probably be sore and we’ve got great medical staff and this kid to my right is pretty tough. So I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.