LiAngelo Ball spent just one exhibition game in a UCLA uniform. His younger brother LaMelo Ball will never be a Bruin.
Former UCLA men’s basketball freshman LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball, 16, have each signed one-year contracts with Prienai-Birštonas Vytautas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. Reports indicate they will join the team in January.
Harrison Gaines, the agent who began representing the brothers shortly after LiAngelo Ball left UCLA, told ESPN of the deal Monday.
“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,” Gaines said. “It was critical to find a situation in a competitive league that works with both of their short- and long-term goals.”
The signing eliminates the possibility of LaMelo Ball playing NCAA basketball. He committed to UCLA when he was 13, and was slated to join the team for the 2019-2020 season.
Concerns over his NCAA eligibility sparked up when the high schooler began selling his own line of shoes as part of the Big Baller Brand, but it has become certain that he will not play college ball.
LiAngelo Ball will be eligible for the upcoming 2018 NBA draft. Father LaVar Ball said that getting LiAngelo Ball ready for the draft was part of the reasons he pulled his middle son – who was serving an indefinite suspension from the team for his arrest in China – out of school.
When asked what kind of NBA prospect LiAngelo Ball could be, UCLA men’s basketball coach Steve Alford said he had no idea.