LOS ÁNGELES (AP) The Ball family was one and ended at UCLA. However, the ramifications of doing business with Lonzo, LiAngelo, LaMelo and father LaVar could have a lasting impact on the program.
LiAngelo Ball – the younger brother of Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball – was removed from school by LaVar months after the shoplifting scandal in China and signed with the Vytautas Prienai professional team in Lithuania. LaMelo Ball, the youngest of the three brothers who is still in high school, signed with the same team, giving up his eligibility to play in college.
LaMelo had committed to play for UCLA as did his two older brothers. Lonzo is the only one who played with a UCLA uniform and was an All-America as a freshman.
"Well, I actually had one," coach Steve Alford said of the ball. was. "Lonzo was obviously excellent, the time I trained Lonzo was amazing, very respectful young man, someone who did not miss the clbad, on the court, off the court it was amazing, he became a good leader when he finished. what you would get from him, he made people better, he knew that he was unique and made the day he stepped on the campus and he never acted that way, you did not see the right you sometimes see in children like that. the coach. "
No one knew that the impact of the Ball family on Pauley would be short-lived. LiAngelo Ball worked with his teammates during the summer and during five weeks of practice, but never played in a game due to the indefinite suspension of the theft in stores that caused an international incident that reached President Trump.
LaVar recently pulled him out of UCLA because he wanted me to play basketball. LiAngelo and his teammates, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, were serving indefinite suspensions. Alford believes it could be resolved soon, regardless of whether Hill and Riley could join the team this season or not.
"It's not done, but we've heard that the process is coming to an end," Alford said Thursday. "I hope we hear something if not the end of this week early next week."
The UCLA Office of Student Conduct has conducted the review and decryption that the code will determine the destinations of the players. Alford said he did not participate in the interview process as part of that review and had no information about the decision that was made. Once the decision is conveyed, he will have an opinion on how things are handled in the future.
"It's just one more of those distractions we have behind us," Alford said. "The guys in the locker room had nothing to do with anything like that … This young team has had to deal with a lot of things and yet they are 7-2 and they play well."
Due to the NCAA's recruitment rules, Alford was not able to talk about LaMelo Ball and the fact that he will no longer play for the Bruins.
"This is how it is," Alford said. "It's something that happened, it's clbad 2019-2020, there's all kinds of time, at this moment, all our attention is finishing clbad 18. 18. Trying to project how clbad 2019 will look is difficult for many reasons. One, the one-and-done, and two, on the table and it looks like something is going to happen relatively soon, eliminate the one-and-dones … Clbad 2019 is two years away from playing here, so it gives us plenty of time. "
LiAngelo was not at UCLA long enough to make an impact or even appear in career statistics.
"When Gelo was here, it was phenomenal," Alford said. "During the summer, through their academic studies and training on the court." He was tremendous. Once he arrived late and entered frantically, apologizing and baduming his responsibility. Those are things that you appreciate as a coach. I do not have problems that way. Obviously, with Gelo and Melo, just wishing them the best of luck. I hope things really work well for them. Like Lonzo, I hope you have an excellent career. "
When asked what he knew about the Baltic League, Alford said:" I have no idea about the Baltic League or where that city is or anything about it. "
GG Goloman of the Bruins, who is from Hungary and he played in his national team during the summer, he knows a thing or two about professional basketball abroad.
"It's a bit similar," Goloman said of Hungary. "It's a good league." I'm not sure about the team at They should be fine, although I'm not sure what the team is like. "
Hill and Riley have already finished their final phase, but some UCLA players will not finish until Friday. The Bruins host No. 25 Cincinnati on Saturday in a nationwide televised game. They could have more depth when the Pac-12 Conference game starts in January. Or they could continue with a short bank.
"It would be nice to know," said Goloman. "The last two months have been in the air, we do not really know what's going on, it will definitely be good to know when they'll be back."
But what is known is that none of the Ball brothers will return.