LaMelo Ball will not be making his highly anticipated debut for SPIRE Institute on Tuesday because La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) backed out of the contest, according to Stan Maddux of The Times of Northwest Indiana.
In a statement released by the school on Friday, La Lumiere said that they are not comfortable playing Spire Institute (Ashtabula County, Ohio) because Ball played basketball professionally this summer in Lithuania. Here is the statement, provided by NWI:
“The scholar-athletes at La Lumiere School are here to prepare in every way for success at the college level,” the school said in a statement. “We aim to put together as competitive a schedule as possible for our team, but we have never played against a team whose roster included any players who have played at the professional level. With the recent news that someone who has played professionally intends to play for SPIRE Academy, we are not comfortable moving forward with our game slated for next Tuesday against SPIRE.”
According to the report, the game will not be rescheduled.
Oak Hill is also rumored to be considering backing out of their game against SPIRE Institute for the same reason. Cole Anthony, the No. 1 player in USA TODAY High School Sports‘ Chosen 25, plays for Oak Hill.
It will be interesting to see if other teams follow suit. LaMelo Ball only played in eight games with Vytautas Prienu and didn’t exactly set Lithuania on fire, but apparently he showed enough to intimidate opposing coaches at the high school level.
Spire Institute’s next scheduled game will be against Northfield Mount Herman, according to MaxPreps.