There are many different words that one could use to describe Lavar Ball. That said, if a person says that the Ball family patriarch under-delivers on his boastful antics, it’s blatantly false.
For months now, Ball has promised that he would try to provide an alternative for 18 to 21-year-old kids to play basketball that involves compensation. Ball has been a vocal critic of the NCAA and how they do not pay their talent. Most of his frustration was let off when his middle child, LiAngelo, was arrested in Beijing for shoplifting last fall.
On Monday, Ball took another step towards making a viable alternative to the NCAA possible by announcing to SLAM Magazine that his new JBA league (Junior Basketball Association) will having an eight-city tour of tryouts starting on April 7. The first tryout takes place in Seattle, with additional stops in New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta and other hotbeds of future NBA talent.
It also stands to note that Ball will not be alone when it comes to selecting who will play in the JBA’s inaugural season. Former UCLA standouts Earl Watson and Ed O’Bannon will take part in the committee, as well as LaVar’s son Lonzo, who is likewise a UCLA alum.
After tryouts in April, players who make it through will be flown out to Los Angeles in June for training camp. Ball clarifies that players will be provided both meals and lodging. Additionally, the players will also be paid in luxury vehicles. Once the training camp is over, Ball hopes to take the players on a national and international barnstorming tour that will have the kids playing all over the globe.
So the first step towards giving kids a viable alternative to playing NCAA basketball has been created, and now it’s time to sit back and see who participates in the league. But if one thing has been clear: if LaVar’s plans have gotten him this far, there’s a good chance that some good will come of it.