LaMelo Ball had an interesting route to the NBA which completely bypassed college, and it’s something he absolutely stands by.
The Hornets guard had an incredible rookie season after being the third overall pick in the draft last year. Expectations were hard to make out as NBA scouts had only really seen Ball play ‘traditionally’ in high school.
However, that didn’t matter. In a recent trend of athletes wanting to play for money, bypassing college has become more and more normal. You only need to go back to this year’s draft to find another example as second overall pick Jalen Green came from the NBA G League Ignite program.
The best ⚾️ and 🏈 style passes from LaMelo Ball this season! pic.twitter.com/DDeS6r3bES
— NBA (@NBA) May 5, 2021
LaMelo Ball Believes His Unorthodox Path To The NBA Shouldn’t Be Questioned
LaMelo definitely had an interesting, to say the least, path to the NBA. LaMelo always defied expectations right from the start of his basketball career.
As a 13 year old kid, he was always pushed by his father to compete against players much older than him, and as a result, LaMelo would often play in AAU games with his older brother Lonzo. As a 13 year old, LaMelo averaged an incredible 19.8 points per game, and he verbally committed to UCLA at the time.
After dominating AAU games for several years, Lavar Ball would also make the decision to take LaMelo out of high school as he clashed with Chino Hills’ head coach Dennis Latimore.
That led to a spree of different basketball environments as LaMelo would play in Lithuania, Lavar Ball’s JBA, SPIRE, and finally Australia’s NBL. Now that he’s made it to the NBA, it’s crazy to think about all the places LaMelo played in to get there.
It definitely paid off as he won rookie of the year while averaging 15.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, and 6.1 assists per game while nearly taking the Hornets to the playoffs. That’s why LaMelo absolutely justifies his weird path to the NBA, saying that college isn’t a necessity at all.
“We not trippin’ off school. We not dumb. We know how to learn. We don’t need school. And school not even teachin’ you sh!t—what the f*ck is school?”
-LaMelo Ball on skipping College
(Via GQ) pic.twitter.com/E9uM2iwQPN
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 17, 2021