LaMelo Ball, Spire vs. La Lumiere Canceled Because Star Played Professionally

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 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

La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, has canceled its scheduled game against SPIRE Institute, citing LaMelo Ball's professional experience in Lithuania as the primary reason.

"The scholar-athletes at La Lumiere School are here to prepare in every way for success at the college level," the school said in a statement, per NWI.com's Stan Maddux. "We aim to put together as competitive a schedule as possible for our team, but we have never played against a team whose roster included any players who have played at the professional level. With the recent news that someone who has played professionally intends to play for SPIRE Academy, we are not comfortable moving forward with our game slated for next Tuesday against SPIRE."

The game, which was scheduled to be played Tuesday, will not be rescheduled.

Ball, 17, spent part of the 2017-18 season with Vytautas Prienu in Lithuania's LKL after he was pulled out of Chino Hills High School by his father, LaVar. LaMelo's brother, LiAngelo, also played for Vytautas Prienu.

Since leaving Europe, LaMelo has enrolled at SPIRE in hopes of jump-starting his career stateside.

However, he's hit quite a few roadblocks over the past week. Beyond La Lumiere's cancellation, TMZ Sports reported Saturday that Ball will be ineligible to participate in the McDonald's All-American Game because he gained professional status abroad.

LaMelo made his SPIRE debut Saturday with 20 points and 10 assists in a 96-86 exhibition win over The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

According to WKYC's Ben Axelrod and Will Ujek, Ball cited Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Michigan State as schools he'd like to attend once his time at SPIRE is over.

The NCAA has yet to rule on Ball's eligibility.

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