We already knew the Ball family was done with Lithuania. It now it seems the whole of Europe is off the radar for LaVar Ball’s sons for now. After leaving Vytautas early due to a lack of playing time, it didn’t take long for LaMelo Ball to find a new home.
The high school-age Ball won’t return to high school and isn’t eligible for the NCAA because of his brief stint as a professional in Lithuania, but luckily for him, his father already has a new league in mind for LaMelo to ball out in.
LaVar announced that LaMelo will be one of the NBA hopefuls who will play in the Junior Basketball Association this fall, the startup league he is organizing himself. Ball said Friday that his youngest son will play in the developmental league he hopes will snag some attention, and top prospects, from the likes of college basketball and the growing NBA G League. Ball said the league will give LaMelo a chance to “take it to another level.”
“Melo got the opportunity to play against international competition and experienced the game from a different perspective while in Lithuania,” says LaVar of Melo’s time overseas this past winter. “Now he’s able to come back to the States and remind people why he was the most talked about high school player in the world before he left. It’s time to take it to another level now.”
The league itself seems to be rounding into shape as well:
This fall and winter, the top players from the JBA will travel across the world to play in exhibition games against professional overseas teams.
The eight American host cities are Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles.
“As a family we’ve never been afraid to find new challenges and do things that others may be too afraid to do, and this move is no different,” says LaVar Ball. “Hundreds of people have come out to the tryouts and have showed that they want to be a part of something that is different and that will go down in the history books.”
Ball will get a chance to showcase his talents once more, this time by a league created entirely by his own dad. There’s been some speculation that Ball hasn’t been able to develop or be challenged enough to become an NBA player thus far, but something he definitely needs will happen in the JBA: he’ll actually play against prospects his own age.