After a brief pro stint in Lithuania with BC Vytautas Prienai, the youngest Ball brother, LaMelo, is making his triumphant return to high school in the United States by way of the Great State of Ohio, enrolling at SPIRE Institute.
Ball, of course, is the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball and the son of infamous LaVar Ball, the founder of Big Baller Brands who's made his rounds in the public eye, even claiming he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one on just one leg.
And now the Ball family has made another unexpected turn. Over the last couple of weeks LaMelo sat down with his family and after multiple discussions the decision was made for the 17-year-old stud to return to high school in the United States and rejoin his peers.
At the time Melo left Chino Hills HS last year he was ranked as the No. 7 recruit in the Class of 2019 and the clear-cut most famous high school hooper in the world.
“I’m excited to return to school and rejoin my class on the court for my senior year,” says LaMelo. “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.”
LaMelo will enroll at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio. He’ll be playing for the basketball program there this winter and is expected to make his debut on November 13 against national powerhouse La Lumiere in Indiana.
Because Spire Institute is a prep school instead of a traditional high school, LaMelo will be eligible to play against other top prep schools.
The thinking behind this decision is to show scouts just how good LaMelo is when placed among his own age group—especially with him being eligible for the 2020 NBA Draft. In his last JBA International Tour game against the London Lions, the now 6-7 point guard posted a 41-point triple-double (17 assists and 13 rebounds). He averaged 40.0 points, 13.8 rebounds, 11.0 assists and 3.6 steals per game during the inaugural domestic JBA season last summer. During the first seven games of the JBA International Tour he averaged 29.9 points, 12. 4 assists, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.1 steals.
Ball's eligibility will likely keep him from playing against any traditional Ohio high schools, so you probably don't have to worry about your son guarding him or dealing with his boisterous father in the crowd, but you could probably go watch him play if you're so inclined.
Better get your tickets now, folks!