LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball Sign to Play in Lithuania, Lavar says 'Who Cares?' about the language barrier | Zagsblog
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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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Saturday / May 21.
  • LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball Sign to Play in Lithuania, Lavar says ‘Who Cares?’ about the language barrier

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    NEW YORK — LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have signed a one-year deal with Lithuanian club Vytautas Prienai in the first-division Lithuanian league, according to Yahoo Sports.

    It’s a one-year deal and they will report to the club in January, per Yahoo.

    “We engaged in serious talks with several teams, and Vytautas made the most sense as LaMelo and LiAngelo work to develop as professionals and set a foundation for their careers,” agent Harrison Gaines said. “It was critical to find a situation in a competitive league that works with both of their short- and long-term goals.”

    TMZ caught up with Lavar and the two sons on Tuesday in advance of the Lakers-Knicks game where Lonzo and the Lakers will come to Madison Square Garden.

    Asked what the biggest struggle in going to Lithuania will be, Lavar said, “There’s not going to be a struggle at all.”

    Asked about the language barrier, he said, “Who cares? We’re going to play basketball.”

    I caught up with both players on Sunday in New York and both said they were anxious to play together –and to get back on the court soon.

    “Yeah, hopefully somewhere, me and Melo [are] going to go play,” LiAngelo said in this Bleacher Report story. “I don’t know where it’s at yet, but I know we’re going to be playing soon.”

    Lavar Ball, the players’ father, pulled LiAngelo, 19, out of UCLA Dec. 4 in the wake of LiAngelo’s arrest in China on shoplifting charges.

    He had previously pulled LaMelo, 16, out of Chino Hills and is now home-schooling him.

    “Somewhere overseas,” LaMelo added to Bleacher Report of where he plans to play now. “Just as long as we play together, that’s the main goal.”

    He said it doesn’t matter how far from home they have to go to make it happen. “We already know we’re going far away from home, so that doesn’t really matter,” LaMelo said.

    Lavar has said he will probably go with the boys at first to their new destination, and then one or more of their uncles will stay with them.

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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.