LaVar Ball to Start Big Baller Brand League for Players Who Skip College

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

LaVar Ball, center, father of Los Angeles Lakers draft pick Lonzo Ball, listens to his son during a news conference, Friday, June 23, 2017, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

LaVar Ball is going to give the top amateur basketball players in the country an opportunity to get paid to play instead of going to college.

Per ESPN's Darren Rovell, Ball is funding the Junior Basketball Association through the Big Baller Brand, with players being paid anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 per month.

Ball said he hopes to feature 80 players for 10 teams with games potentially being held at NBA arenas located in Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn and Atlanta.

"Getting these players is going to be easy," Ball told Rovell. "This is giving guys a chance to get a jump-start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts, and we're going to pay them because someone has to pay these kids."

Ball released a video officially announcing the creation of the league:

Ball added the league would follow NBA rules with four 12-minute quarters and the professional three-point line located 22 feet in the corners and 23.75 feet behind the top of the key. All players who join would also be required to wear Big Baller Brand merchandise since it will be promoting the league.

Ball said comments made by NCAA president Mark Emmert at the SportsBusiness Journal Intercollegiate Athletics Forum earlier this month were an inspiration for him to start a new league.

"Is this a part of someone being part of your university as a student-athlete or is it about using college athletics to prepare yourself to be a pro? If it's the latter, you shouldn't be there in the first place," Emmert said, via sports attorney Jason Belzer.

Ball said Emmert was right because "kids who are one-and-done, they shouldn't be there with the NCAA trying to hold them hostage, not allowing them to keep the jersey they wear while selling replicas of them in stores."

Regarding the logo of Lonzo Ball dunking, Rovell noted that LaVar said, "We don't need a logo of a guy dribbling. Nobody does that anymore."

There are still many hurdles remaining for the league before an actual game can be played. It has no players or venues for games.

Ball's sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, will likely not be part of the Junior Basketball Association after signing with a Lithuanian team last week.

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