LaMelo Ball doesn’t appear to have any grief about not finishing high school and seemingly doesn’t care for the traditional academic path to the league altogether.
During a recent interview for an article in “GQ,” the 19-year-old Charlotte Hornets star shared how he didn’t have regrets over not staying on the school path. “You wanna go to the league, so school’s not your priority,” he said. He added, “We not trippin’ off school. We not dumb. We know how to learn. We don’t need school. And school not even teachin’ you s–t—what the f–k is school?”
Ball’s basketball career route to the NBA is rare, though it has become a growing trend among young star athletes, opting to leave school and skip college entirely to play the sport professionally. Still, he reportedly verbally committed to the University of California, Los Angeles.
In his junior year, the six-foot-six point guard left Chino Hills High School to play ball overseas in Lithuania alongside his brother and free agent LiAngelo. He allegedly clashed with Chino Hills head coach Dennis Latimore. Shortly after, the pair played in the JBL, created by their father, LaVar, before ultimately playing in the NBL in 2019-20 for the Illawarra Hawks before the 2020 NBA Draft, where he was selected as the third overall draft pick. The decision has paid off, as Ball recently earned the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
Still, the star’s comments on prioritizing his career over academics drew mixed reactions from people on social media. One Twitter user reacted to the statement, writing, “Lamelo doesnt need school but the problem with him saying this is that people who arent as talented in such a lucrative craft or any cract will see this and say, ‘yeah, F college’ when you actually need it.”
Another person commented, “Probably not a good thing to say to millions of fans who are children/teens. I love Melo though.”
Meanwhile, others agreed with Ball, stating, “People saying we need school, after the basics that they teach u in elementary school maybe some of middle school, they rly just teach you pointless bullshit that you could educate yourself on if u rly cared tht much”
The interview with Ball also included his thoughts on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling regarding payments for student-athletes. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer that the NCAA could no longer block modest payments to student-athletes, Ball told the magazine he believes the organization should allow more options for elite players to make money during the path to big leagues.