LaMelo Ball is headed back to high school after a year off to play professionally in Lithuania and his father’s Junior Basketball League.
The well-regarded prospect will play for Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio this coming year and is expected to make his debut on November 13. While Ball is a fascinating player in his own right, given he’s been in the spotlight since he was 13 years old and has steadily grown his skill set (and grown physically), he’s likely not the most interesting player on Spire’s roster.
That title belongs to Robert Bobroczky, a 7-foot-7 junior from Romania who has a sweet shooting stroke and, given his height, attracts plenty of attention. Bobroczky’s story is a fascinating one, as detailed in a tremendous Washington Post story from this past January. He was discovered by Spire’s director Bobby Bossman on YouTube in 2014 while the 13-year-old Bobroczky played for a basketball club in Italy, and the two spoke for more than a two years before Bobroczky made the decision to come to the U.S. and join Spire.
As you can see in a video below of Bobroczky playing, he was 180 pounds and, as such, extremely thin. The program has been steadily working with him to add weight and strength, but balancing the challenges of doing so safely.
In the story on Bobroczky from Roman Stubbs of the Post, when he arrived at Spire, they began putting him on a 5,000 calorie a day diet in an effort to help him gain weight. While he can’t do much weight lifting, they have had to tailor exercises to his frame with resistance bands and other alternatives to traditional weights.
While Bobroczky stands out immediately due to his height, his skills as evidenced in the video above are impressive. He has a great touch with his shot and, not unlike Boban Marjanovic, can throw down dunks without needing much if any lift off the ground. He still doesn’t play much in big time matchups, but as he gains strength he will be a fascinating prospect to watch at Spire, even if the spotlight will be firmly placed on Ball this season.