2017 has been the year of LaVar Ball. At this point, it’s hard to deny his importance to the sports world and what his impact has been on the future of his three sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo. While he has made some brash claims like saying Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry or declaring all three of his sons will play for the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s also made some wild decisions. The biggest decision he made, besides launching his own clothing and sneaker brand, was pulling both of his younger kids out of their respective schools to pursue international opportunities to help them prepare for the NBA. Well, that is until his announcement on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, Ball is launching his own league called the ‘Junior Basketball Association’. He’s aiming to pay top prospects up to $10,000 a month to participate in this league to potentially serve as an alternative to the NCAA, a league that has come under fire in their own right this past year.
Oh yeah, and Lonzo Ball is the silhouette for the logo for the league.
LaVar Ball said Wednesday that he’s launching a basketball league for nationally ranked players who have graduated from high school but don’t want to go to college.
Ball said his Junior Basketball Association — which he said is fully funded by his Big Baller Brand — plans to pay the lowest-ranked player a salary of $3,000 a month and the best player $10,000 a month. Ball is looking for 80 players to fill 10 teams that will seek to play at NBA arenas in Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn and Atlanta.
“Getting these players is going to be easy,” Ball told ESPN. “This is giving guys a chance to get a jump start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts, and we’re going to pay them because someone has to pay these kids.”
Ball said the rules of his league will follow those of the NBA instead of college — 12-minute quarters and a pro 3-point line.
Ball said he was partly motivated by the comments made earlier in the month by NCAA president Mark Emmert, who was asked at a SportsBusiness Journal conference whether Ball was good or bad for the college game.
“He was right,” Ball said. “Those kids who are one-and-done, they shouldn’t be there with the NCAA trying to hold them hostage, not allowing them to keep the jersey they wear while selling replicas of them in stores. So our guy isn’t going to go to Florida State for a year. He’s going to come to our league.”
Ball said that since Big Baller Brand is promoting the league, players will wear the company’s products, including BBB shoes and a BBB-branded uniform.
Ball admits there’s a lot of work to do to get the league ready. No venues have been rented and ticket prices haven’t been set. He also doesn’t have any players yet — the league won’t include LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, who have signed with Prienai Birstonas Vytautas in Lithuania.