LaMelo Ball on Decision Not to Play College Basketball: 'What The F--k is School?'

Adam WellsAugust 17, 2021

AP Photo/Nick Wass

As a high-level basketball player who turned pro at the age of 16, LaMelo Ball apparently isn't too upset about missing out on the college experience. 

In an interview with Tyler R. Tynes of GQ, Ball explained why he is "not trippin' off school" as a young man.

"We not dumb," he said. "We know how to learn. We don't need school. And school not even teachin' you s--t—what the f--k is school?"

Alongside his brother, LiAngelo, LaMelo signed a professional contract to play for Prienu Vytautas in Lithuania in 2017. 

Big Baller Brand @bigballerbrand

LaMelo Ball, 16 will be the youngest basketball player from the United States to ever play Professionally Overseas. <a href="https://t.co/r7lXyYUpwv">pic.twitter.com/r7lXyYUpwv</a>

Signing that deal ended Ball's chances of playing college basketball, where he had been committed to UCLA.  

Lonzo Ball, LaMelo's older brother, played the 2016-17 season for the Bruins before going to the NBA. 

LaMelo Ball only played in eight games with Prienu Vytautas before returning to the United States. He was limited by back pain, but his father, LaVar, was also critical of the coaching staff for not playing his son enough. 

After spending time in the Junior Basketball Association created by his father and playing 12 games with the Illawarra Hawks in the National Basketball League in Australia, Ball was the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. 

That whirlwind journey paid off, as Ball was named NBA Rookie of the Year last season. The 19-year-old averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds in 51 appearances during the 2020-21 campaign. 


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