Prienu Vytautas, the Lithuanian team that signed LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, has withdrawn from the Baltic Basketball League this season and will instead play in the Big Baller Brand Challenge, a series of five "friendly" games meant to get the brothers extensive playing time.
The two teenagers, the youngest sons of LaVar Ball, whose oldest son Lonzo is a rookie with the Lakers, were competing in the first game of the Big Baller Brand Challenge. The game was broadcast live on Facebook, which displays the number of viewers real-time for any live feed.
With parents LaVar and Tina Ball sitting courtside, UCLA dropout LiAngelo scored 19 points, while his younger brother, LaMelo, finished with 10 and had several no-look assists to wow the crowd in the process.
The first points of LiAngelo's professional basketball career came from the charity stripe with 4:55 left in the first quarter, and LaMelo connected with a free throw at the 2:29 mark of the quarter to open his professional scoring account.
But he still managed to hold his own. He shot, and missed, a long three-pointer in his very first possession as a pro. The company's logo was everywhere, including on the jerseys worn by the referees. This new route of playing in Lithuania can pay off in spades, or blow up spectacularly for the whole family. The exhibition showcase, created by Lavar to show off the family brand, got off to a great start for the Balls as they won 90-80 over Zalgiris' U-18 team.
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"Not a lot", LaMelo said. He also misfired on all five 3-pointers he attempted including a pair of ugly 30 footers seconds after he checked into the game early in both halves.
Wouldn't surprise me if 17-year-old Zalgiris PG Rokas Jokubaitis becomes the best National Basketball Association player out of this game.
Senior Ball taking his two younger sons to Lithuania, of all places, was the last straw to yell out that he is indeed a insane man.
LaMelo displayed his intriguing longterm potential as a scorer and distributor.