I never thought I would see a Ball admit that college is something he desires! My have the turntables… I hope you get that reference. And I’m not shocked because he believes that college isn’t an education he doesn’t need but because his father has advocated against the idea of college ball and the way they treat their athletes.

According to sportswriter, Ben Axelrod, Ball had these destinations in mind when mentioning what schools would he like to play for,

Can you blame him? And I get that you may have reservations about his father. And if you’re not sure who Lamar Ball is, he’s the dad that forced the NCAA and NBA to slightly improve their treatment on collegiate athletes and find better ways to access their desires to go to the league straight out of high school. But outside of what his father may have done or forced you to feel, Ball is still a kid and college is still an experience everyone deserves to have. NCAA has a stage that cant be replicated. I don’t care who you are or your argument for it, they do. The fans, loyalty, and stardom that comes along with playing in the top schools in the country, elevates ones brand far better than a spot on the g-league. Not everyone is a Kobe Bryant or Lebron James; both who stated that if they went to college, UNC and Duke would’ve been their choices.

Ball who was ranked as a 5-star recruit with an early commitment to UCLA as a junior at Chino Hills. Was removed from High School to play overseas with BC Vytautas in Lithuania. But the big question remains, is Ball even eligible? According to his father and Justin Brantley, Spire’s associate academy director, he absolutely is. According to ESPN, Brantley stated that Ball was not compensated and never received payment for playing in Lithuania or in the JBA, keeping him eligible to play this season.

“My understanding is [LaMelo] was looking to relive that high school experience, looking to really focus on his game, as well as his education, and graduate,” Justin Brantley, Spire’s associate academy director said. “It’s more so of a feeling-out process to make sure it was the right fit all the way around, make sure we can help him, make sure we can provide him what he needs socially.”

Also in case you need more proof, the NCAA new rule maybe a loophole just in case the hiring of Harrison Gaines cause an issue,

College basketball players can be represented by an agent beginning after any basketball season if they request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. Pending a decision by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, high school basketball players can be represented by an agent beginning July 1 before their senior year in high school, provided they have been identified as an elite senior prospect by USA Basketball.

So now the question, is he “elite”?

College is an experience everyone should have. The friends, the lessons and most importantly, the maturity, are all something every kid needs. I honestly don’t know where I would’ve been without ECU and the friends I’ve made there. And it’s apparent that LaMelo wants that same chance; to just be a kid and nothing else. Hopefully, he gets everything he wants and the future he desires.

“I’m excited to return to school and rejoin my class on the court for my senior year,” Ball told SLAM Magazine. “Playing in international competition was a great experience. I learned and matured so much. I appreciated the JBA experience my dad provided for me. I think it helped my development. I can’t wait to play with my peers.”

Also, who wouldn’t wanna see Ball in that Carolina Blue?!

 

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