LaVar Ball has made good on his promise to have his sons play overseas. LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball will play for the Lithuanian club Vytautas Prienai as part of a one-year professional deal.
Coach of the team, Virginijus Seskus, who is also the general manager, confirmed the news to ESPN Tuesday, Dec. 12. Rural-based Vytautas has teams in the Lithuanian League and the Baltic League, the latter of which is less competitive. It’s reported that guard LaMelo and scorer LiAngelo, who left UCLA after he and two other teammates were suspended for shoplifting in China, would likely have more playing time in the Baltic League.
“Our club is excited for the arrival of LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball,” Vytautas sports director Vilius Vaitkevicius told Yahoo Sports. “We are committed to their long-term success and development as professional basketball players.”
The Ball brothers will reportedly join the team, which has been dealing with financial issues, in January. Meanwhile, older brother Lonzo Ball is in his rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Related: LaVar Ball and Sons
“I don’t care about the money,” LaVar Ball told ESPN Thursday, Dec. 7 when explaining why his sons signed with agent Harrison Gaines, who scored the teenagers their overseas deal. “I want them to go somewhere where they will play them together on the court at the same time. The priority is for the boys to play on the same team.”
On Twitter, many have been weighing in.
Some have been dragging LaVar and dissing the team choice.
The good news about the Ball brothers signing to play in Lithuania is it hopefully will keep their idiotic old man out of the country and out of the news!
— Rusty (@shref2310) December 12, 2017
The Ball brothers gonna play in some 2nd rate leauge on Lithuania? Their father is doing them such a disservice. His 19 year old isnt NBA material, now he has no UCLA education. The 16 year old gonna play vs grown men? They gonna learn the local language? Enjoy the food? Bad idea
— Dave Wielhouwer (@DaveWielhouwer) December 12, 2017
Lithuania is not the place to start your pro Career Ball Brothers!! In for A Rude Awakening (literally)
— Ricky Harris (@RickyHarris5) December 12, 2017
Did you read the description of the team they are signing with? It is a small team in a rural area that plays in a low level league and the team is failing financially. So it’s unlikely the kids are getting much in the way of $$$ to play there.
— tmg84 (@tmg84) December 12, 2017
One chided them on their athleticism.
LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are going to play basketball in Lithuania.
Congrats on being in the same realm of athletic ability as Winston Bishop from New Girl…
— Trevor Steele (@steeleydan72) December 12, 2017
Others were happy for the Ball brothers and looked at the deal positively.
Congrats to Lamelo & LiAngelo on signing their pro deals in Lithuania. A lot of people are praying for their downfall because of whatever feelings they may have for their father. Salute to the Ball brothers. Get that💰
— 73-9 and they LIED (@CuffsTheLegend) December 11, 2017
Athletes in Europe are comparable if not better than NCAA. The game is ref’d better. The fundamentals are stressed more. The strategy is pro level.
The kids have a opportunity to learn a lot, fast.
— FORMER FAN (@RaiderBounty) December 11, 2017