Where are the Ball brothers now? Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo find mixed success in NBA
Times were simpler when the Ball brothers were alley-ooping their way to a California state basketball title.
Now, the brothers have all gone on to varying degrees of bigger and better things. Lonzo is an established NBA point guard. LaMelo is aligned to be a top-five NBA Draft pick in 2020. And the middle brother, LiAngelo, could potentially play in the NBA G League in the upcoming season. They haven’t all stayed locked in with their father LaVar’s Big Baller Brand, but basketball has taken the Ball bros many places (in the case of LiAngelo and LaMelo, all around the world).
Here’s a look at where the Ball brothers are now and how they got there.
Where are the Ball brothers now?
Lonzo spent one year starring at UCLA, running fast breaks and throwing alley-oops, before being the No. 2 overall pick by the Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft. He spent two years playing for Los Angeles, including one with LeBron James, but his lack of perimeter-shooting ability made him expendable when L.A. decided to bolster James’ supporting cast.
Before the 2019-20 season, Lonzo went to the Pelicans in a three-team trade along with Lakers teammates Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. That move set Ball up for the best all-around season of his NBA career, averaging 11.8 points, 7.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while shooting a career-high 37.5 percent from 3-point range.
Lonzo also became the front-end of highlight reels again with his precise passing thanks to Zion Williamson’s selection as the No. 1 overall pick in 2019. Williamson’s ability to go up and throw down lobs was of great interest to Lonzo, who consistently tossed the ball up to let Williamson go and get it.
LaMelo began his high school career as a Chino Hills (California) freshman playing with his older brothers. The trio won a state championship before their paths started to diverge. A coaching issue before LaMelo’s junior year of high school led him to head overseas and play in Lithuania. He and LiAngelo joined Prienai, making LaMelo reportedly the youngest American to sign a professional basketball contract.
After playing only 12.5 minutes per game, LaMelo left Lithuania. He spent time with the Los Angeles Ballers in his father’s created Junior Basketball Association, then he went to Geneva, Ohio to play a prep-school type senior year for SPIRE Institute. LaMelo’s college eligibility had been ruined when he signed his first professional contract, so after SPIRE, he joined the Illaware Hawks of the Australian-based National Basketball League.
LaMelo was with the Hawks from June 2019 through January 2020. He played in 12 games and averaged 17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. LaMelo then entered his name in the 2020 NBA Draft, in which he’s considered a top-five prospect.
The middle brother, LiAngelo has had the relatively smallest amount of basketball success. He was signed to UCLA but was suspended for shoplifting, prompting him to join Lithuanian team Prienai with LaMelo. LiAngelo played better in Lithuania, averaging 12.6 points per game.
He too played in his father’s Junior Basketball Association after leaving Lithuania. Then on Dec. 29, 2019, LiAngelo signed with the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA’s G League as a practice player. He signed a full contract with the Blue on March 9, 2020. LiAngelo didn’t suit up in the OKC Blue’s only game after signing that contract before the season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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