Lonzo Ball is the one on the court playing basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers, but it’s his father, LaVar, who is continuing to make headlines.
Appearing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday for Lonzo’s second NBA preseason game, the eldest Ball informed ESPN that he was pulling his youngest son, LaMelo, from high school. The outspoken father said he would home-school LaMelo for the next two years to keep him focused and away from the distractions created by his newfound status as a celebrity. He also chastised the basketball coach and administration of Chino Hills High School in California.
LaVar also spoke about something that could potentially impact LaMelo’s college athletics eligibility: the release of the high school baller’s signature shoe with the family-owned-and-operated Big Baller Brand, the Melo Ball 1 (also referred to by the brand as the MB1).
The sneaker, which sells for $395, was unveiled on Aug. 31 online via bigballerbrand.com. It is available for preorder now and is scheduled to ship on Dec. 23.
“I see him going to college, but we’re going to see what goes on; his development and how everything goes, we’ll see. But you know he’s got his own shoe, you know the NCAA don’t like that, so they might be like, ‘Hey, back up.’” I ain’t got no problem backing up because we’re still going to get to here, he’s on deck, coming to the Lakers.”
The NCAA has rules governing a student athlete’s amateur status that prevent the acceptance of endorsements.
According to the NCAA, “If a college-bound student athlete is paid for appearing in a commercial or receives an endorsement before he or she is accepted at an NCAA member school, his or her eligibility could be affected.”
In his second NBA preseason game, Lonzo, the oldest son of LaVar, scored 8 points and dished out 4 assists in the 113-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He played in the Nike Kobe A.D. in the obsidian, mega-blue and white colorway, which retails for $160 via nike.com.