LaVar said, calling out the NCAA: “The only thing they worried about is the money. How you thinking about not saying that the shoe look good or nothing like that? The first thing they’re trying to say is. ‘How can we make him ineligible?’ This has never happened before. So, you don’t even have a rule for it. You’re trying to find one. To say, ‘Yo, we gotta make him ineligible because he can’t be making money off a shoe.’”
He continued: “See here’s the thing, he’s not even in the NCAA and they’re trying to make something. He’s got two more years! So why even worry about that right now? But here’s the thing, when it comes to basketball and you’re good, you just better be ready for training camp … Who cares? He won’t go to the NCAA. ‘Oh, he better go overseas.’ Why? All he gotta do is be faster and stronger. And when it’s time to prepare, we could sit out for as long as we want.”
Tania Ganguli: LaMelo Ball is committed to UCLA. His dad said if it comes down to college eligibility or having his own shoe? “He’s going to have a shoe.”
The move, having a signature shoe for a high school junior, raised eyebrows and the specter of whether LaMelo, who is committed to UCLA, would lose his eligibility for college. And if they have to choose between LaMelo playing in college or having his own shoe? “He’s going to have a shoe,” LaVar said. “NCAA ain’t going to tell me [anything]. Because they’re not my boss. That’s what they do, but they’re not going to be like, ‘Oh, LaVar, you can’t bring that shoe out until we tell you.’ What? Something that I’m doing for my family? That’s mine? I’m not under no umbrella.”
LaMelo said he’s focused on high school before worrying about his college eligibility. “I’ve still got two years left, so I’ll worry about that when it gets there,” he said.
If it isn’t, if LaMelo can’t play at UCLA in two years, LaVar says he won’t send his son overseas. He’ll train him himself. “Everybody else got to go [overseas] because you’ve got to make some money,” LaVar said. “We [don’t] need to make money, we ain’t got to go nowhere. All we got to do is train. … I’m not going to make it a big deal where I’m like, Melo definitely has to go to college in order for him to succeed. You just gotta be ready to play and do your job.”