LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball Sign 1-Year Contracts with Prienu Vytautas

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 01:  (L-R) LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball attend the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies at Pauley Pavilion on March 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are headed to Europe.

The former Chino Hills High School stars have signed with first division Lithuanian team Prienu Vytautas. The Big Baller Brand Instagram account shared the news:

According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, it's a one-year deal and they will report to the club in January.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN broke down the players' future:

Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress

The Ball brothers are not expected to see major playing time for Prienu Vytautas in the Lithuanian (LKL) league, but could be afforded an opportunity to develop in the Baltic (BBL) League, where the stakes are much lower. The club must decide whether to pull the trigger first. https://t.co/XIihTVnZMD

Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress

Prienu Vytautas has only had one American player on their roster in the past decade, Brad Tinsley, who departed after a month of action, according to my research. The Balls would likely be faced with a major culture shock in Prienai, a small village of around 10,000 people.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Givony also reported the team has discussed a role of 20 to 25 minutes per game in the Baltic League.

Former Wisconsin guard Ben Brust also added his thoughts on the move:

Ben Brust @BenBrust

The Ball’s to Lithuania is a disaster waiting to happen (I played there for a year and hated it). This is a picture of the teams gym that the Ball brothers would play at. Not exactly BIG BALLER material #BBB https://t.co/STkQ57YRS5

The players' father, LaVar Ball, said last week they had both signed with an agent, effectively ending their NCAA careers.

"Our goal is to get both of these boys, have all three of them on the Lakers," LaVar recently told Bleacher Report's Adam Zagoria. "And sometimes it's different roads to get to there. But we're going to get there. We're just on a different road right now."

LiAngelo, 19, was playing for UCLA but earned an indefinite suspension for shoplifting while in China. He later dropped out of school. While LaVar explained he was preparing his son for the upcoming NBA draft, Wojnarowski noted this was not likely:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Ex-UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball has no chance that he'll be drafted in June — and that was true before his shoplifting incident in China. "He's not on any of our scouting lists — even the extended lists," one GM told ESPN.

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LaMelo, 16, is more highly touted as a 5-star recruit and the No. 15 overall player in the 2019 class, according to 247Sports composite rankings. He was originally committed to UCLA like his older brothers, but he will forgo the college experience while instead playing professionally at a young age.

The oldest brother, Lonzo, was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2017 draft to the Lakers after an All-American year at UCLA. However, the rest of his family will have to try for a more indirect path to the league.


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