WESTWOOD—LaMelo Ball, the youngest of the three Ball brothers, has already committed to playing basketball at UCLA.
“It is my dream school,” he told Michelle Gardner of the Daily Bulletin. “I decided to get it out of the way now instead of waiting for the future.”
LaMelo, 13, has not yet started high school. His older brothers, Lonzo, a high school senior, and LiAngelo, a high school junior, both committed to UCLA as sophomores. While LaMelo hasn’t played a high school basketball game, he’s no stranger to the court. LaMelo could be the most promising basketballer of the three talented brothers.
LaMelo’s skill level may be due to the rigorous training he received being one of the youngest brothers. The boys’ parents, LaVar and Tina Ball, decided early to keep the brothers together, rather than split them up by age. Because of that decision, LaMelo has never played against kids his own age; he’s always played alongside his older brothers, often facing off against much bigger opponents.
Two years ago, LaMelo impressed television screenwriter, reality show creator and basketball fan Provat Gupta Dubois at a 17-and-under game. LaMelo was just 11-years-old, and managed to score 30 points against the opposing team.
“There was this little kid just shooting from everywhere,” Dubois recalled to Gary Parrish of CBS News, “and then I found out he was only 11 years old! I immediately said, ‘I have to meet this kid.’”
LaMelo and his brothers play together for Big Ballers VXT, a team coached by their parents. On July 23, in an Adidas Summer Championship game in Los Vegas, Nevada the brothers scored a combined 93 points against the Atlanta Celtics. The Big Ballers won the game 102-93, which means that the brothers scored as much as the entire opposing team, and contributed all but nine points to their team’s victory.
LaVar says that he always knew his sons would play basketball. It runs in the family, as both LaVar and Tina played basketball in their youth. LaVar ultimately went on to play professional football.
“I knew they were going to hoop … from Day 1,” LaVar told Gary Parrish of CBS Sports. “With the way I’m built, and the way she’s built, I knew I was going to have three killers. So this thing was planned long ago. Because I knew if you put two basketball players together, this is what you’re going to get.”
The Ball brothers will spend a year playing basketball together at Chino Hills High School before Lonzo will head off to UCLA. While all three brothers plan to attend UCLA, the year they spend playing for the Chino Hills Huskies may be the first and last year they spend playing school basketball together. Lonzo has already indicated that he wants to be “one and done” at UCLA, with the hope of moving to the professional court after only a year at college.