LaVar Ball says LaMelo Ball, who was committed to UCLA, is returning to high school basketball in Ohio

LaMelo Ball is returning to play basketball in the high school ranks, his boisterous father LaVar Ball announced on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old hoops phenom from left Chino Hills (California) High School last year to pursue a professional career, which led him to Lithuania and to the U.S. for a brief stint in the JBA League, a professional league formed by LaVar. He has one final year remaining in high school.

Ball’s return to high school basketball may not be met with much fanfare, however, if only because he’ll be states away from California, where he made a name for himself. He’s set to complete his senior year at Spire Prep Academy, which is located in Geneva, Ohio.

Before Ball left high school at the urging of his father, he was widely considered among one of the top high school prospects in the country. He regularly dropped eye-popping final numbers, like his 92-point outburst last February, and earned a five-star recruiting ranking. He committed to UCLA during his breakout before opting to go pro.

It’s unlikely Ball would be eligible to compete at the NCAA level or regular high school level because of that decision, but Spire, which doesn’t compete in a traditional high school athletics matrix, offers an alternative that obviously had a strong appeal to him.

Though Ball will have a lot of work to do to get back on NBA Draft radars ahead of his first year of eligibility in 2020, the fact that he’s making a concerted effort to play against similarly-matched competition and age is a step in the right direction.

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