LaMelo Ball is headed back to high school. The youngest of the Ball brothers has enrolled at Ohio prep school Spire Institute for what will be his senior season, ending his ill-fated professional career after stops in Lithuania and on his father’s fledgling Junior Basketball League.
Ball was introduced at Spire on Friday, being welcomed with a billboard in downtown Cleveland and speaking with reporters alongside his father at a press conference. The presser featured the typical bombastic quotes from LaVar Ball (“since LeBron left, I brought you a Ball boy”), but also included one newsworthy nugget: LaMelo wants to play college basketball next season.
Ball was once committed to UCLA before dropping out of Chino Hills High School and turning pro. Back then, Ball was considered a five-star recruit by ESPN and was rated as one of the 10 best players in his class. On talent alone, he would certainly have a number of suitors if he was set to play college basketball next season.
There’s only one problem: given everything that has transpired with LaMelo since dropping out of Chino Hills, the chances that the NCAA would actually deem him eligible to play college ball appear to be slim-to-none. Though the Ball family is claiming LaMelo never accepted any moneyduring his time in Lithuania and on the JBL, there are still a number of things the NCAA is going to look into should a school decide recruiting him is worth the trouble.