The teenage move to European professional basketball didn’t go perfectly for LaMelo Ball, so he and his family are now back safely in Southern California. And while that move meant he couldn’t return to high school competition, Ball is still playing basketball, now plying his trade as part of the Big Baller Brand-backed Junior Basketball Association.
It’s hard to rate the level of competition in the JBA — it includes other competitors in their late teens who opted for a touring professional circuit rather than college — but suffice to say that it probably presents a stronger defense than the teams that came up against Ball’s previous squad at Chino Hills.
And despite being one of the younger players in the JBA, Ball is still showing out. Just check out the wild behind-the-back assist in the highlight above.
That’s exceptional court vision and awareness which harkens back to his eldest brother’s high school and college days at UCLA. While no one is ready to call LaMelo Ball the next Lonzo yet, he’s at least showing signs.
He’s also throwing down put-back dunks, which, wow:
And that’s a good thing for Melo. Whether it’s ultimately enough to get him a serious look at the NBA is another question. At the very least, perhaps the youngest Ball brother’s performance in the JBA will keep the conversation alive.