Chino Hills Fires Basketball Coach Stephan Gilling After Feuding with LaVar Ball

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25:  LaVar Ball, father of Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins, watches the game against the USC Trojans at Galen Center on January 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Chino Hills, the former high school of NBA prospect Lonzo Ball and current home of his brother LaMelo, has reportedly parted ways with basketball coach Stephan Gilling after one season.

Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times reported the school "has begun looking for a new basketball coach after apparently cutting ties" with Gilling, who took part in a verbal back-and-forth with the Balls' father, LaVar, during the season.

A March expose on the situation by Andrew Joseph of For the Win showed a relationship that deteriorated between Gilling and the elder Ball. Once the hand-picked coach of the Ball family after fostering a yearslong relationship, Gilling had a falling out with Ball after a mid-game disagreement in December.

"An assistant coach comes up to me and tells me that he sees LaVar rallying the team up," Gilling told Joseph. "I guess he got them out of their rooms on the 18th floor and tells the team that it was his system that won. That we're doing what he says. 'I run Chino Hills! I run UCLA, about to run the NBA!'

"He pretty much downplays me at the same time. My assistant coach sees him and says to him, 'That's not right. Is there any middle ground?' He says, 'No, there's no middle ground.'"

After their disagreement, Gilling said the relationship between himself and the Ball family—most notably players LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball—deteriorated.

"So, throughout the rest of the year, we had games that I would not talk to them (LaMelo and LiAngelo)," Gilling said. "The kids looked at me different. Not all of them, but some. They understood and knew they were caught in the middle of it all. It was sad for the kids because it was from that point on that they didn't know who to listen to.

"It was also noticeable that things were being said at home, and brought back to the gym in a way of, like, they're not listening to the coaches."

Gilling managed to guide the team to a 30-3 record, but it appears the toxic situation made it untenable for him to return.