Lavar Ball is at it again. He’s doing the (fairly) unprecedented and removing his 16-year-old son, LeMelo Ball from Chino Hills high school. This is in order to homeschool LeMelo while the youngster trains to become an NBA player like his brother Lonzo.
“I’m going to make him the best basketball player ever,” Lavar said. “It’s good for Melo. Less distractions. He just needs to focus.”
This is downright genius thinking by Lavar Ball. And that may be an unpopular opinion but it’s the truth if you know the atmosphere around high school basketball. It has become an extinct practice for Division I college basketball coaches to attend high school basketball games. Thier focus, along with NBA and overseas scouts, has focused more on the AAU atmosphere.
So it wouldn’t benefit LeMelo to play in high school anyway because the competition is not even that…a competition. Last season the then 15-year-old scored 92 points in a single game. It doesn’t matter how many shots he took, most high school teams can’t score that many points in a game as a team. Can you imagine his points per game average at the end of the season if you factor that game in?
With this new homeschooling regimen, Lavar can have LeMelo learn on his own time while he spends the next two years becoming the best basketball player possible. Think about all the pointless gym classes, study halls, and high school basketball practices LeMelo would have been subject to if he were in high school. Those are valuable hours he could be spending developing his craft as he prepares for UCLA two years from now.
The path is much smoother now for LaMelo after his older brother Lonzo paved the way. The eldest brother received so much criticism and scrutiny during his playing days at UCLA, mostly because his father pumped him up to be a superstar (and said a couple other absurd things along the way).
Showtime Lakers featuring Lonzo ? pic.twitter.com/1bFUcVPsvt
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 3, 2017
But Lavar deserves credit because he knew Lonzo was a special talent. During the NBA Summer League Lonzo won the MVP award as he averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, and 7.7 rebounds per game. Lavar’s boasting and bragging about his son may have been a little premature but it showed he had faith.
LaMelo will now get all the exposure he needs when he plays travel basketball this spring. Another bonus of not being tied down by high school is the fact that LaMelo can travel the country and play for the best teams out there without worrying about missing any days of school…he can just bring the schooling with him.
LaMelo wouldn’t be the first amateur athlete to pull this off. Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper left high school after his sophomore year to get his GED and attend junior college so he could be drafted by age 17 instead of 18. The jumpstart to his career has certainly paid off as he’s won an MVP and made five All-Star appearances.
Some may say Lavar is crazy but in two years this move will make for a huge payout as LaMelo has the chance to transform into a superstar talent before he even reaches the hardwood of UCLA’s gym.