As part of a recent interview, LaVar Ball claimed that his JBA league helped to prepare his son, LaMelo, for the NBL.
LaMelo is already being viewed as one of the top prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft. After dropping out of Chino Hills High School in California to play professionally for six months in Lithuania, he quickly became a prominent figure in the JBA (Junior Basketball Association) — a league that was created by his father.
Lavar has said that he created the JBA as an alternative for aspiring NBA hopefuls who might be looking to to bypass the NCAA.
“I had a league called the JBA, which … I primed him to do like this,” LaVar Ball said, via vavel.com. “We played in different countries, against older guys, so this is nothing new when I see him get these triple-doubles now. He was doing that in my league but people was throwing that to the side ‘cause they said, ‘Oh, he’s playing for his dad. It don’t count.”
Melo and his brother, LiAngelo, won the JBA championship in its inaugural season (2018), defeating Seattle by a score of 132-121. The brothers combined for 92 points in the win. LiAngelo was dominant, scoring 58 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. LaMelo had a great game as well, racking up 34 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists — though he had 11 turnovers.
Now playing for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL in Australia, LaMelo is continuing to develop into a strong candidate for NBA consideration, though his shooting percentage will need to be addressed. He’s currently averaging 17.0 points on 37 percent shooting from the field, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists
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