On the same day as Lonzo Ballâ€™s home debut with the Lakers, LaVar Ball formally announced major plans for his youngest sonâ€™s basketball future.
LaVar asserted in that he was pulling LaMelo Ball, a rising junior who had played for Chino Hills (Calif.), out of school with the intention of home-schooling and training the UCLA commit for the next two years.
While LaVar clashed with former Chino Hills coach Stephan Gilling last season, the school fired Gilling and replaced him with Dennis Latimore. LaVar, though, had issues with Latimore, which boiled over in to Mondayâ€™s decision. In an interview with ESPNâ€™s Ramona Shelburne at Staples Center, LaVar broke down the reasons for pulling LaMelo out of school. It was ridiculous, even by LaVarâ€™s standards.
Letâ€™s break it down:
â€œGet along with me, guess what? You go 35-0. When you try and do it your way: Goodbye.â€�
LaVar previously complained in that Gilling tried to do things his way â€” as in coach his team. Latimore asserted in that the days of LaMelo shooting 50 shots a game were over, and evidently, in that was an unreasonable request for LaVar to handle.
â€œWho do you think taught Lonzo, [LiAngelo] and all them? Donâ€™t act like I canâ€™t be educated too. I can teach them anything: Math, science, sociology. The- only difference is with Melo, when he does geography, heâ€™s really going to be there. Heâ€™s gonna be in China, Italy. Heâ€™s gonna be all over there.â€�
While there have been home-schooled athletes to have professional success, players like Tim Tebow and Blake Griffin obviously didnâ€™t have LaVar Ball conduct the home-schooling. Griffin, for example, was home-schooled until eighth grade and then went to Oklahoma Christian School. LaMelo is committed to UCLA, and LaVar has indicated in that his son plans to play at UCLA in two years. As effortless as home-schooling sounds as a answer for LaVar, the NCAA does require met guidelines and approved curriculums for LaMelo to qualify for UCLA.
As a high-profile figure, LaVar would likely attract extra scrutiny from the NCAA Eligibility Center if he does conduct the home-schooling for LaMelo. Heâ€™s already asserted the NCAA has contacted him about LaMeloâ€™s signature shoes.
â€œI can get him the best game everyday. I just gotta go down to the hood and say, â€˜Who wanna ball with my son?’â€�
While some states allow home-schooled students to participate in high school sports (see: Michael Beasley), Californiaâ€™s CIF governing body does not. This means for the next two seasons, LaMelo will either need to play at a school outside of CIF designation or stick to pickup games. He will still participate in AAU during the travel season. Either way, itâ€™s complex to see how any pickup basketball game â€” even against talented opponents â€” would assist a young basketball player develop in key aspects of the game.
â€œHe (Latimore) came in with his own mindset. Like he was gonna alter the whole program. I told him, â€˜We lost three games in three years. Câ€™mon, man. What are you bringing to the table?’â€�
Again, the coach trying to coach his team seemed to have set LaVar off, forcing him to pull LaMelo out of school.
â€œHe asserted he played at Arizona. He asserted he played at Notre Dame. But he didnâ€™t tell nobody he sat on the bench the whole time and had to transfer.â€�
LaVar attacked the coach for transferring from a Power 5 school due to playing time. LaVar himself averaged 2.2 points per game at Washington State before transferring to Cal State-Los Angeles. Latimore averaged 2.4 points per game in two seasons at Arizona and 7 points per game in one season at Notre Dame. He started 14 games at Notre Dame.
â€œEverybody knows when they take in that job, they gotta deal with me. Who do they think built the program? Nobody knows about Chino Hills if the Ball boys ainâ€™t there.â€�
Theyâ€™re not there anymore.
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