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LaMelo Ball timeline: How the youngest Ball brother made his way around the world and back in time to become a top NBA draft pick

Summary List PlacementLaMelo Ball has been around for what feels like ages at this point. The now-19-year-old is projected to be one of the top draft picks in the 2020 NBA Draft, but he's long been famous as a member of one of the most eccentric families in basketball. He's the youngest...

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Summary List Placement

LaMelo Ball has been around for what feels like ages at this point.

The now-19-year-old is projected to be one of the top draft picks in the 2020 NBA Draft, but he’s long been famous as a member of one of the most eccentric families in basketball.

He’s the youngest son of LaVar Ball, the outspoken founder of Big Baller Brand who has time and time again sparked media storms thanks to his outlandish comments.

LaMelo’s eldest brother, Lonzo, was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Lonzo now plays point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Their middle brother, LiAngelo, famously gave up his UCLA Bruins scholarship after he was suspended for shoplifting while on a team trip to China.

He now plays for the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA G League.

LaMelo may be the most talented of the Ball brothers on the court, but he’s taken an extremely unorthodox journey to the top of the draft boards.

He has been playing basketball alongside his brothers — and under the tutelage of his father — ever since he was four years old.

Source: Maxpreps

Once it was time to compete, he played on the same AAU team as his brothers and faced much older opponents as a result.

By age 13, he followed his brothers in committing to play college ball for UCLA.

Source: CBS

And he began proving his worth as a young star for Chino Hills High School a short while later, starting and dropping 27 points in his first game as a freshman.

Source: Los Angeles Times

His scoring only became more prolific with time; he once dropped a whopping 92 points in a game during his sophomore season.

Source: CBS Sports

Meanwhile, LaVar was busy marketing LaMelo along with his older brothers. Shortly before he’d be a junior in high school, Big Baller Brand dropped a $400 signature shoe in his honor.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/903299440349396992?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Today, LaMelo Ball becomes the 1st high school player ever to have his own signature shoe. The “Melo Ball 1” pic.twitter.com/3EpJuBA1EF

 

Read More: LaMelo Ball now has his own $400 Big Baller Brand shoes raising concerns about college eligibility

LaMelo’s path took a strange turn when, ahead of his junior season, LaVar pulled him out of high school after disputing with the newly-appointed Chino Hills coach.

Read More: LaVar Ball is pulling youngest son LaMelo out of high school after disputes with new coach

LaVar intended to homeschool and train LaMelo himself until it was time for him to join the Bruins, but after LiAngelo was suspended from the team, he decided to send his sons overseas to play professionally.

Read More: LaVar Ball reverses course, says youngest son has signed with an agent, ending possibility he would still go to UCLA

Both LaMelo and LiAngelo signed contracts with Prienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League and promptly headed to Europe.

Read More: LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball sign underwhelming contracts for a Lithuanian basketball team

They left the team after just four months, and LaMelo had just 6.5 points and 2.4 assists per game in that span.

Source: RealGM, ESPN

Upon returning stateside, LaMelo signed with the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association — a league of LaVar’s creation touted as a college alternative for young prospects.

Source: SLAM

Shortly after, the family attempted to reinstate LaMelo’s NCAA eligibility — a long shot at best.

Read More: After a bizarre trip to Lithuania and a stint in the JBA, LaMelo Ball intends to play college basketball — here’s why it may be a long shot

Eventually, he headed back to high school at Spire Institute in Ohio.

Source: ESPN

Shortly after his senior year came to an end, LaMelo once again committed to play overseas, this time in Australia. He signed a two-year contract with the National Basketball League’s Illawarra Hawks.

Source: ESPN

And though the competition in the NBL was tougher than what he’d seen elsewhere, LaMelo impressed enough to be considered a top prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft.

Though he’s still something of a wildcard, LaMelo’s 6-foot-7 frame and elite passing ability, long-range shooting, and remarkable court vision make him a gamble worth taking, according to NBA scouts.

Read More: Why LaMelo Ball is the most divisive top prospect in recent NBA draft history

Now check out the rest of the 2020 NBA Draft class — one that’s considered fairly lackluster compared to years past.

The incoming NBA draft class is considered weak, and nobody seems to want the top picks

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