LiAngelo Ball Joins Los Angeles Ballers of Father LaVar's JBA League

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 29:  LiAngelo Ball #2 walks on the court during the Los Angeles Lakers 2018 NBA Pre-Draft Workout on May 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

LiAngelo Ball is headed to LaVar's Junior Basketball Association after all.

The JBA announced Monday that LiAngelo will join younger brother LaMelo on the Los Angeles Ballers:

JBA @bbbjbaleague

RELEASE: LiAngelo Ball will play for the Los Angeles Ballers of the JBA League. For quotes and more information, read FULL press release. #NewBallEra #JBA https://t.co/0yAmi3CL64 https://t.co/7EjKeej1G1

His L.A. Ballers debut will be on Thursday in California:

JBA @bbbjbaleague

BREAKING: @LiAngeloBall will join JBA League and play for the Los Angeles Ballers. More on this later. Watch his season debut this Thursday in Ontario, California. Click: https://t.co/S6W3p9cCvi #NewBallEra #JBA https://t.co/CUkgon84vE

This news come one day after TMZ Sports posted video of the middle Ball brother addressing his current situation:

He noted he was focused on working out and is waiting for a team to give him a call. For now, he will take his game to the JBA to try to prove to NBA teams that he can play at a high level.

After going undrafted last month, some wondered if LiAngelo might opt to play in the JBA. That was something that was not in his plans at the time. 

"Right now, I'm taking it day by day," LiAngelo told NiceKicks.com in June. "I'll be willing to play in the G League and get moved up from there. That's an option. I'm not going to play in the JBA. I feel like that's taking a step back for me. If I have to play in the G League, then that's what it's going to be. I'm not running away from the work."

The 19-year-old has since had an opportunity to gauge his market. 

Sam Amick of USA Today Sports reported the Lakers had no interest in adding Lonzo's younger brother after working him out, thus ruining LaVar's master plan of having all three sons playing in purple and gold (at least for now).  

He was initially set to follow in his brother's footsteps by playing college ball for the UCLA Bruins. However, Ball and a pair of teammates were suspended before the regular season even began due to a November shoplifting incident in China during an exhibition tour.

As a result, Ball left the team (and the university) to pursue a professional career. He and younger brother LaMelo went to Lithuania to play for BC Vytautas. While his time overseas provided mixed results, he did have a 72-point performance, via Ball Is Life:

His play overseas apparently didn't impress NBA executives enough to warrant giving him a shot

As much as LaVar attempted to hype up LiAngelo leading up to the draft, he is on the record, per GQ's Zach Baron, as saying last year that he didn't believe his middle child would make it to the NBA: "I told my boys that one of them wasn't going to make it. Because if you've got three, only one, maybe two make it to the NBA." 


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