Lavar Ball says son Lonzo, and both UCLA-bound brothers, will be one-and-done
So far, pretty much everything Mr. Ball has said has turned out to be right
LOS ANGELES -- Lavar Ball, at this point, is known for his bold predictions almost as much as his oldest son, Lonzo, is known for his unique gifts that have transformed UCLA's program and pushed the Bruins near the top of most polls and rankings.
And, to his credit, he's been right way more than wrong.
So here's a new one:
"All three of my boys are going to be one-and-done," Lavar told me late Wednesday after Lonzo finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in UCLA's 102-62 easy victory over UC Santa Barbara.
Yes, there are three Ball brothers.
But you probably know that by now.
I wrote about the family, highlighted by their colorful father, two summers ago. And they've done nothing but exceed all reasonable expectations since. The three brothers -- Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo -- combined to average 71.2 points per game last season while leading their high school, Chino Hills, to a California state championship and perfect 35-0 record. Now Lonzo has turned UCLA into a legitimate national title contender while establishing himself as a Player of the Year candidate and sure-bet lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Meantime, LiAngelo, a Class of 2017 standout who is committed to UCLA, recently scored 72 points in a Chino Hills game. And little LaMelo, well, he's not too little anymore. LaMelo was only about 5-foot-7 last I saw him.
"Now he's 6-3," Lavar said before we walked over to visit with the younger Ball brothers, who were sitting courtside at Pauley Pavilion.
I did not have a measuring tape.
But LaMelo, who is also committed to UCLA, looked 6-3 to me.
Bottom line, it seems awfully ambitious to predict LiAngelo and LaMelo will have as big of an impact at UCLA as Lonzo has already had -- and then bounce to the NBA after one season, too. But Lavar predicted it. He promised it. And, like I told you earlier, he's been way more right than wrong with his bold statements to date.
"People used to think he might be a little crazy, but he's always right," one high-major coach told me Thursday morning. "Whatever crazy thing he says, it seems to happen just the way he said it would happen. He's been bold. But he's been right."
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