It can sometimes be hard to put LaMelo Ball in context. A year ago, he was playing professionally in Lithuania. Now, he’s back in an American high school (sort of) playing against other teenagers and shining in a way that’s drawing comparisons to his older brothers, and very positive ones at that.
In a recent story for Forbes, high school basketball and recruiting reporter Adam Zagoria spoke to a number of different basketball figures about the Ball Family and, in particular, LaMelo’s time at SPIRE Institute. Among them was Life Christian Academy basketball coach Richard Mason, who had a very strong take about LaMelo’s talent and progress at SPIRE.
“There’s not a player in America better than that kid,” Mason, who roomed with Danny Manning at Kansas, told Forbes. “He’s better than his older brother (Lakers point guard Lonzo).”
In fact, Mason claims his team’s game against SPIRE earlier this season so raised its profile that a number of his players have since received scholarship offers from major Division I programs.
Of course, that’s the kind of thing that can happen when an NBA-quality talent is competing against other high school prospects, and they hold their own.
The question is just whether LaMelo Ball really is that kind of an NBA-echelon talent. His highlight have certainly lived up to that hype, it’s just a question of whether his opposition has been strong enough to justify such a conclusion.