LaMelo Ball returns to states, will attend high school in Ohio

After a European jaunt, the Ball family is coming home — in a manner of speaking.

Both LaVar Ball and LaMelo Ball announced Tuesday via Twitter that LaMelo, the youngest of the basketball-playing Ball brothers, will go back to high school for his senior year. That high school, however, is Spire Prep Academy in Geneva, Ohio.

The move seems to end a campaign by LaVar Ball, the bombastic patriarch of the Big Baller Brand family, to promote his two younger children through a series of overseas exhibitions. Both LaMelo and LiAngelo pulled out of school last year — LaMelo from Chino Hills High and LiAngelo from UCLA — and signed pro contracts in Lithuania.

For the past few months, the brothers have been headlining Ball’s latest venture, the Junior Basketball Association, while playing against European and Asian small-time pro teams. The future of the league came into question last month, when the G-League announced a plan to start offering top level high school players prep-to-pro deals.

LaMelo, 17, has been identified by scouting services as a possible NBA talent who could follow in the footsteps of his older brother, second-year Laker guard Lonzo Ball. While inflated stats were the norm during his JBA run, LaMelo averaged 29.9 points, 12.4 assists and 8.9 rebounds during the international tour, according to SLAM Magazine.

LiAngelo Ball, who endured an embarrassing exit from UCLA after a shoplifting incident on a trip to China, has a less clear future. He was passed over by NBA teams, including the Lakers, as an undrafted free agent earlier this year.


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