Details on LaMelo Ball's Choice to Play in Australia; LaVar's Reaction Revealed

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, BC Prienu Vytautas's LaMelo Ball is shown in action during the Big Baller Brand Challenge friendly tournament match against BC Zalgiris-2 in Prienai, Lithuania. LaMelo Ball, the brother of Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, has been ejected from a game in Lithuania after striking an opponent. Ball clashed with Lithuanian player Mindaugas Susinskas during Monday's, Oct. 1, 2018, exhibition game between local club Dzukija and a touring team of United States players from the Junior Basketball Association established by the Ball brothers' father, LaVar Ball. (AP Photo/Liusjenas Kulbis, File)
Liusjenas Kulbis/Associated Press

The patriarch of the Ball family is proud of his youngest son.

LaVar Ball revealed he is proud of LaMelo Ball for playing in Australia on the latest episode of the Ball in the Family Facebook show. LaVar was particularly proud because LaMelo made the choice on his own.

LaMelo announced he would sign with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League during an appearance on ESPN's The Jump in June, saying his goal was to be the No. 1 pick in the draft:

ESPN @espn

"I'm trying to be the No. 1 pick for the 2020 draft." LaMelo Ball announces on The Jump with @Rachel__Nichols that he will play in Australia's NBL for the Illawarra Hawks next season. https://t.co/G9z4bCl4E5

That goal is within the realm of possibilities considering Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com said the guard "is now a real No. 1 pick contender."

There was a time when Ball seemed destined to play college basketball as a highly regarded recruit, but the combination of his involvement with Big Baller Brand and signing with an agent realistically ended those chances.

He could very well be on his way to the NBA even without college, where he would join his brother Lonzo. Lonzo is a point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans and will look to make the playoffs for the first time in his career while playing alongside Zion Williamson.