LiAngelo Ball is a few training sessions and preseason games away from hopefully officially becoming an NBA player. His brothers entered the league on a red carpet as big prospects – One, Lonzo, is already in the NBA (New Orleans Pelicans) and trying to progress as a versatile point guard; the other, LaMelo, is getting closer to what he is doing in the oceanic NBL (Illawarra Hawks).
On the other hand, LiAngelo Ball had a much more arduous journey and, by all accounts, struggled to deserve a chance, especially after what he did with Charlotte in the Summer League from a marketing point of view, where he already more than justifies his presence on campus, let alone if he does it in Charlotte Hornets(the team he is representing in the Summer League).
LiAngelo Ball: Playing “Ball” Coming From The “Ball” Family
1. Mixed-race basketball family:
LiAngelo is the basketball family’s middle son who was born on November 24, 1998. In addition, he grew up with his two brothers in Anaheim, California. Furthermore, his two brothers, LaMelo and Lonzo, were also basketball players. It is not a surprise since the whole family is associated with basketball. His father is Lavar Ball, a former African American athlete, and college basketball player. Additionally, LiAngelo’s mother, Tina Ball, who is white was also a college basketball player at Cal State Los Angeles.
His father had founded the JBA (Junior Basketball Association), a league with six teams made up of young talents who chose not to participate in the NCAA. LiAngelo joined in the middle of the season and ended up becoming champion with Los Angeles Ballers being the MVP of the Final with 58 points playing again alongside LaMelo.
2. Childhood talent:
The young player began training with his father at the age of four after facing off against older opponents like fourth and fifth-graders while in kindergarten.
Additionally, at age six, LiAngelo was playing basketball and soccer with his siblings. While Lonzo was a quarterback, LiAngelo and LaMelo caught passes.
Additionally, he competed in the Amateur Athletic Union for Big Ballers VTX as a teenager with his siblings.
Soon, LiAngelo’s basketball career in high school began after joining Chino Hill High School at age 15. During his high school years, he got a lot of attention from the Los Angeles Times.
3. Liangelo Ball played for Lithuania after having passed high school:
After LiAngelo left the university path, the entire Ball family “circus” left for Lithuania as part of a media decision. There he and a 16-year-old LaMelo played for BC Prienai for four months.
His name was expected to sound during the 2018 Draft, however, the rounds passed, and in the end, no one selected him, a severe blow to his aspirations to follow in the footsteps of his brothers, and his father.
There is really little that can be known about Liangelo because unlike Lonzo and Lamelo, he was not drafted by any team and he could not make his debut in the G-League. However, during his stay in Lithuania’s Vytautas Prienu, Liangelo played 14 games in the 2017-2018 season, in which he averaged 12.6 points per game, 2.9 rebounds, in addition to being on the court 21.7 minutes on average per game.
4. His effectiveness is far from that achieved by his other two brothers:
Liangelo had a percentage of 41.5% from the triple line, 42.5% from the field, in addition to 63.3% from the free throw line.
5. His career was at risk when he was caught stealing:
The path for LiAngelo Ball to reach this point was littered with obstacles along the way. The most infamous was undoubtedly being suspended from UCLA and eventually retiring entirely, after he was caught stealing a pair of Louis Vuitton glasses during a varsity trip to China in 2017.
Ball left the Bruins without playing a single minute for the team. But according to him, the incident made him the player he is today. In a recent chat with Shams Charania, a journalist for The Athletic, LiAngelo spoke candidly about the incident almost four years later.
“It made me who I am today,” LiAngelo said. “I dealt with so many things. I heard everything, good and bad. Nothing really bothers me. My skin is thick. When I play today, I keep the same energy. Of course, people make judgments. I was young, I don’t look back on that. I learned from that and kept pushing. I’m not going to let one decision ruin my whole life, “he explained.
6. Attempts in Oklahoma:
While LaMelo jumped into Australian basketball to prepare for the 2020 NBA Draft, LiAngelo was unable to impress anyone with his role in such an uncompetitive league and also had to have surgery on one of his ankles, so he couldn’t get a shot at the 2019 Summer League. His opportunity would only come in December 2019 when Oklahoma City Blue, an Oklahoma City Thunder affiliate in the G League, signed him as a sparring partner. The team put him on the official roster in March, but the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the season and prevented Ball from making his G League debut.
7. Exhibit 10 Contract:
Liangelo Ball finally achieved the dream that his brothers Lonzo and Lamelo had already achieved. In 2020, the Detroit Pistons signed the third ball to an Exhibit 10 contract, a deal in which only a small portion of the salary ($ 50,000) is guaranteed and is often used to offer it in the preseason and convert it later into a guaranteed one.
8. Girlfriend and ex-girlfriend:
Yes, the California-born athlete has a girlfriend named Jaden Owens but according to the internet he is dating Ana Montana. She is also a basketball player at the University of California, Los Angeles. The couple began dating in 2018. Before getting into a relationship with Jaden Owens, LiAngelo was in a relationship with his ex Izzy Morris.
9. Featured since his teens:
LiAngelo would be arriving in the NBA quite late (he will turn 23 in November) compared to his brothers, two true prodigies, but that does not mean that he did not excel in basketball when he was younger. Despite their age difference, the three Ball brothers shared the Chino Hills school team in 2016, a team that won all 35 games they played and was unofficially declared the national champion. In that team Lonzo was chosen by the press as the MVP and LaMelo as the revelation, but the top scorer was LiAngelo with an average of 27.4 points per game in the tough competition in California.
The following year LiAngelo had a 72-point game with 13 triples and several more than 50 points. He was the top scorer for the state of California in 2017 with an average of 33.8 points per game.
10. Instagram star:
Currently, the number that impacts LiAngelo Ball the most is his 2.6 million followers on his Instagram profile. Comparatively, Lonzo (@zo) has 11 million followers and LaMelo (@melo) has 7.2 million followers as of September 28th, 2021.
Those who know him state that LiAngelo is of a much calmer personality than Lonzo and LaMelo and can spend more than a month without making a publication in his feed of the social network.