The Ball Brothers | Derek Li
The Ball Brothers
by Derek Li
Imagine siblings who came to stardom at a young age. You’re probably thinking of the Kardashians or the Jenners. Now, imagine that the siblings are all boys, all teenagers, and all basketball prodigies. Meet the Ball Brothers, consisting of Lonzo Ball (19), LiAngelo Ball (18), and Lamelo Ball (15), who have taken the high school and college basketball world by storm in the past few years. All coming from Chino Hills, California, and with all three brothers possessing incredible talents and unique skills, it may just be the beginning of the next basketball dynasty.
The Ball Brothers were born with a pretty good edge in the sporting world. Their father, LaVar Ball, played college basketball at both Cal State-LA and Washington State; he was a former player in the NFL for the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers. Tina Ball, their mother, was also a former basketball player who went to Cal State-LA. Despite the age difference in the brothers, Tina and LaVar did not want their three sons to play basketball separately. So, LaMelo always played with his two older brothers against older competition. In fact, he was playing under-17 basketball at 11 years old. They all went on to attend Chino Hills High School, where they became featured basketball stars.
In the 2015-16 high school basketball season, under the dazzling and purely impressive play of all three of the Ball brothers, Chino Hills went on to have an undefeated 35-0 season, beating De La Salle (Concord, CA), winning the CIF State Open Division final, and making Chino Hills High School the champions of California high school basketball. Chino Hills’ games were always sold out, as everyone wanted to watch the fast-paced and extremely entertaining style of play consisting of extraordinary dunks and long three pointers exhibited by the whole team.
Each of the three brothers have different special talents. First, there’s the oldest, Lonzo Ball. He was the first to gain attention in the Ball family when he was in high school. Lonzo is a 6’6’’, 190 pound freshman guard at UCLA, who is projected to be one of the top picks in the 2017 NBA draft. He is often described as an extremely adept playmaker, yet he is also extremely athletic, boasting a 40 inch vertical jump and catching a ton of alley-oop dunks in games. Although he is often criticized for having an unorthodox shooting form, Lonzo is nevertheless an excellent 3 point shooter, shooting over 42% from the 3 point line this season. As a tall point guard possessing an all-around game, Lonzo Ball looks to be a rising star in the NBA.
Then, there’s the middle brother, LiAngelo Ball, a senior shooting guard who committed to UCLA in 2015. One word describes him: buckets. LiAngelo is a pure scorer. His 6’6’’, 240 pound frame only bolsters his ability to score, as he can post defenders up with his strength and knock down long 3 pointers as well. LiAngelo averaged 51.3 points through his first 3 games of the 2016-17 season, scoring 56 points and 72 points in 2 consecutive games. As LaVar Ball said, “Nobody can guard him.”
Last but not least, there’s the youngest but fanciest one: LaMelo Ball. He verbally committed to UCLA at the end of his freshman season. He is a 6’3’’sophomore point guard who is very dexterous and brilliant offensively. From scoring 92 points in one game to draining half court 3 pointers and breaking defenders ankles, LaMelo Ball has made many jaw-dropping plays in games. Whether it’s his groovy moves or pure swagger, LaMelo has attracted much attention on social media recently, and also looks to be the best in the Ball family.
For the Ball brothers, there is one thing to be sure of: the future looks bright. Not only are they already a high school basketball legacy, but are looking to take over the college and professional basketball worlds.