LaMelo Ball Scores 40 in LA Baller's Junior Basketball Association Win

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2018

PRIENAI, LITHUANIA - JANUARY 09:  LaMelo Ball of Vytautas Prienai in action during the match between Vytautas Prienai and Zalgiris Kauno on January 9, 2018 in Prienai, Lithuania.  (Photo by Alius Koroliovas/Getty Images)
Alius Koroliovas/Getty Images

LaVar Ball's Junior Basketball Association officially got underway Thursday night with a pair of games, and it was only fitting that LaMelo Ball helped kick things off.

Playing in his first game since his stint with Lithuanian club BC Vytautas, Ball led his Los Angeles Ballers squad to a 134-124 victory over the New York Ballers. Although he may not have been on top of his game early on, he still managed to put up some highlights.

It took Ball until there were two minutes remaining in the opening quarter to knock down the first triple of his JBA career with two minutes to play in the first quarter.

One of his best highlights came with about a minute to play in the first when he set his teammate up for a layup with a no-look pass, via Cycle's Thomas Duffy:

The strong finish to the opening period appeared to give him some momentum heading into the second.

Ball started the second strong, slamming home a putback dunk off a teammate's miss in the opening minute of the quarter. 

From there, he hit a groove. 

Ball had a solid all-around half to help his L.A. Ballers take a 69-50 lead into the locker rooms.

The 16-year-old had a mixed debut. He struggled when trying to show off his range, but he was able to crash the boards and score while closer to the hoop. Of course, he also found ways to get his teammates involved, sometimes opting for the flashy pass.

While his scoring barrage continued in the second half, Ball just missed out on a triple-double, according to JBA writer Manny Alvarez: 40 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Given it was the league's first day of games, Ball and Co. are just getting used to playing together. The quality of play should only improve as the schedule progresses. 

Ball and the L.A. Ballers are back in action Sunday against Seattle.

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