LaMelo Ball, the 15-year-old younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, has also unveiled his own signature shoe through the family’s Big Baller Brand.
The sneakers will cost $395, which is one hundred dollars less than what the ZO2 shoes from the family will cost. However, a signature shoe for a high school player is entirely unprecedented.
But notorious NBA father LaVar Ball does not seem worried about whether this will have any impact on LaMelo’s NCAA eligibility (via ESPN):
“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 … Maybe in two years, they’ll change the rule and he’ll be able to go to the NBA straight out of high school.”
Even though LaMelo committed to play for the Bruins in 2015, the five-star recruit may face some trouble. However, the NCAA did not respond to ESPN for any comment, so it’s unclear their stance in this particular instance.
Of course, Ball did not indicate that LaMelo will skip attending UCLA. However, it doesn’t seem like a worry for him if that’s what has to happen.
An interesting alternative could be if he decides to play abroad for a season between high school and the NBA. He scored 92 points in a high school game last season and his scoring prowess may be appreciated overseas. This would immediately alleviate all potential violations.
If the family decided to have LaMelo play somewhere like China rather than in college, it could be a fascinating opportunity to expand the international brand.
Despite his age, the young high school star currently has more followers on Instagram than Under Armour Basketball – even though UA boasts endorsers including Stephen Curry.
LiAngelo Ball, meanwhile, is now the only player of the three brothers who does not have his own signature show. Considering he is enrolled as a student athlete at UCLA, his would be an obvious violation of his amateur status.
LaVar has previously told LiAngelo that he may not make it to the NBA. But the father still calls him a “one-and-done” athlete for UCLA. Still, LaVar says that LiAngelo will have his own shoe as well in April 2018.