LiAngelo Ball to Get Signature 'Gelo 3' Big Baller Brand Shoe After Leaving UCLA

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2017

UCLA NCAA college basketball player LiAngelo Ball attends a news conference at UCLA Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in Los Angeles. Three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China admitted to the crime and apologized before coach Steve Alford announced they were being suspended indefinitely. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

There is reportedly a new Big Baller Brand sneaker on the horizon.

On Monday, Nick DePaula of ESPN relayed a report from colleague Jovan Buha, who said "there are plans in place for a third Big Baller Brand sneaker alongside the ZO2 and Melo Ball 1. LiAngelo's eventual signature shoe will be called the 'Gelo 3.'"

This report comes after Ball family patriarch, LaVar Ball, told ESPN's Jeff Goodman, "We are exploring other options with Gelo," suggesting LiAngelo Ball's UCLA career is over even though he has yet to play a game with the Bruins.

"I'm going to make him way better for the draft [than] UCLA ever could have," LaVar said, per Darren Rovell of ESPN.

LiAngelo didn't suit up for UCLA in the early portion of the 2017-18 campaign because he was suspended indefinitely for shoplifting charges when in China. According to Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times, "LaVar Ball was not willing to wait two months for LiAngelo to play and he didn't like him coming off the bench at UCLA."

The elder Ball made it clear LiAngelo will not be transferring to a different college program and will prepare for the NBA draft instead, per Goodman.

The plan to shift toward preparation for the next level figures to end any eligibility concerns this signature shoe would have brought had LiAngelo stayed in college basketball. It should be noted, though, younger brother LaMelo Ball is a 5-star prospect committed to UCLA's 2019 recruiting class, per 247Sports.

The oldest brother, Lonzo Ball, also played at UCLA and is now the Los Angeles Lakers point guard, but Arash Markazi of ESPN cited an official at the school and said LiAngelo's exit "likely means the end of what was supposed to be a long, fruitful run with the Ball brothers."

Markash pointed to LaMelo's signature shoe and said "there are serious questions" regarding his eligibility. Instead, LaMelo "is traveling around with LaVar, opening up Big Baller Brand shops."

LiAngelo may be set to join that travel schedule considering he will no longer be with the Bruins and apparently has his own shoe coming out.

LiAngelo was just a 3-star prospect, per 247Sports, and is not as highly regarded of a basketball player as his brothers, but there is name recognition in place as the Big Baller Brand prepares to expand its sneaker line.


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