When Lonzo Ball got to the podium to accept his McDonald’s All American Game jersey, among those he thanked was his family and his teammates. In Ball’s case, those are almost one in the same.
Ball, the UCLA-bound star for Super 25 No. 1 Chino Hills (Calif.) plays with two brothers (both also committed to UCLA) and a cousin who is currently sidelined with an injury.
“I want to thank my family and teammates because through the journey we all travel together,” Ball said during the McDonald’s All American Game Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance. “Hopefully it doesn’t stop here.”
Ball is ranked No. 11 in the ESPN rankings in the Class of 2016 and can do it all on the court.
His stat line from Monday’s Hoophall Classic victory against High Point Christian (N.C.) is just an example. He had 15 points, 10 rebounds. 18 assists, three steals and three blocks in Chino’s 100-75 victory, played in the Huskies’ typical fast-paced style.
That versatility extends beyond the court. Coach Steve Baik, spoke about his player for as a great student, leader and person.
“He has become a hero to the youth of this community by his example on and off the court,” Baik told the assembly. “I want to thank Lonzo for allowing me to be part of his basketball journey. I hope I have held up my end to be the best coach for him. It has been a true pleasure to coach him.”
Baik said the McDonald’s game was among Ball’s biggest goals.
“Lonzo is a once in a lifetime talent if you’re lucky to get him,” Baik said. “He has put in so much hard work and been so focused on being the best he can be. That has paid off and he has become one of the best players in the country. “I feel like I won the Powerball by getting to coach him for four years.”