After the release of his own shoe, the father of UCLA Basketball 2019 commit LaMelo Ball has said that he does not care if his son goes to college. That does not bode well for the Bruins.
If recruiting hasn’t been hard enough for UCLA Basketball Head Coach Steve Alford, it might get tougher in 2019. That is the recruiting year that the youngest brother (LaMelo Ball) of UCLA’s superstar freshman last year, Lonzo Ball, is set to join the Bruins.
Today, that commitment to UCLA was put in question when the Ball father, LaVar Ball, said that he does not care about LaMelo’s college eligibility.
According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN, when asked about LaMelo’s eligibility after the release of his own shoe (the youngest Ball released his signature Big Baller Brand shoes earlier today which cost $395), LaVar said, “We’ll worry about it when we get there. Who cares? If he can’t play, then he can’t play. It doesn’t mean he’ll stop working out and getting better.”
Clearly, LaVar doesn’t know the meaning of the word “commitment”.
LaMelo Ball is committed to the 2019 UCLA Basketball recruiting class. Last year, the Ball-to-UCLA trend began when Lonzo played for the Bruins before getting drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. Currently, the second oldest, LiAngelo Ball, is in summer workouts with UCLA, preparing for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
Unfortunately for LaMelo, having his own shoe, could stop the Ball-to-UCLA trend. In Goodman’s article, an NCAA representative stated, “Generally speaking, a college athlete or prospect paid for use of their athletics reputation or ability risks their future eligibility in that sport”.
This might cause some trouble for the UCLA Basketball team. If LaMelo becomes ineligible, then that strips the Bruins of the #7 player in the nation for 2019.
Like his brother Lonzo, LaMelo projects to be a star point guard, a position that has been hard for Alford to land, especially from those players that are considered elite. Currently, UCLA has no PGs committed for 2018 and LaMelo for 2019.
At this point, at least from LaVar Ball’s perspective, it seems to be UCLA’s problem as dad appears to only have one goal in mind: getting his kids to the NBA.
That was evident by another LaVar statement, “Maybe in two years, they’ll change the rule and he’ll be able to go to the NBA straight out of high school.” With that in mind, maybe Alford and his staff should start looking around for other 2019 point guard prospects, just in case something does happen to LaMelo.
Trust me, the majority of Bruin fans will most likely wish the Ball Family all the luck in the world, but their priorities are with UCLA and right now, this does not favor the Bruins. UCLA has to worry about UCLA. Just like Ball has to worry about Ball.