WESTWOOD—LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have officially signed with a Lithuanian professional basketball team, ending their careers at UCLA.
The two rising basketball stars signed for the team on Monday, December 11. According to their agent, Harrison Gaines, they will be playing for the Prienu Vytautas club in a one year contract. LiAngelo Ball can no longer return to the UCLA basketball team and LaMelo, who was already committed to the school, will not be joining. Both athletes will be moving to Lithuania in January 2018 along with some family.
LiAngelo Ball was originally a part of the UCLA basketball team and was indefinitely suspended from the team last month with two other players after stealing merchandise from a Louis Vutton store while abroad in China. All three were confined to their hotel room until the country’s authorities decided not to press charges against the three. Upon return, UCLA suspended all three. In response, LiAngelo’s father LaVar Ball withdrew his son from the university.
Since LaMelo Ball, 15, signed to a professional team, he will never be able to play for a college university. In addition, by hiring a professional agent, the rising basketball player forfeited the right.
The club has teams in the Baltic and Lithuanian leagues. The Ball brothers are expected to play in the less-competitive Baltic one, where they will receive 20-25 minutes of playing time. This is a slow start, and they will most likely see more playing time as the year progresses.
In an interview with ESPN, LaVar Ball said “I don’t care about the money. I want them to go somewhere where they will play together on the court at the same time. The priority is for the boys to play on the same team.”
LaMelo and LiAngelo’s older brother, Lonzo Ball is currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers after being drafted by the team during the NBA Draft this year.