NBA (National Basketball Association)

LaVar Ball tags along as LiAngelo, LaMelo land in basketball-crazy Lithuania to play for local club

The two youngest sons of entrepreneur LaVar Ball, and brothers of Lakers star Lonzo, set to begin their professional careers with BC Prienai

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 10:55am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 10:55am

The brothers of Los Angeles Lakers star Lonzo Ball landed in rainy Lithuania on Wednesday night to start their career at a local basketball club.

The 19-year-old LiAngelo and his younger brother LaMelo, who is 16, signed professional one-year contracts with BC Prienai last month.

“It’s surely no California and it’s cold, but I think we will like it here,” LaMelo told reporters as they walked through the crowd towards the “Party Bus”, which was to take them to Prienai – around 110 kilometres (68 miles) south of Vilnius, the capital.

The brothers arrived with their father LaVar Ball, an American media personality and businessman, and the creator of Big Baller Brand.

LiAngelo and LaMelo are expected to make their debut on January 9, when BC Prienai host Tsmoki-Minsk in a Baltic league game.

Most tickets for that night at the 1,200-seat arena have already been sold, according to the box office.

BC Prienai, who were the only team in the league without foreign players, finished sixth in the Lithuanian league last year.

In basketball-crazy Lithuania, the game is often dubbed the “second religion” and attracts huge crowds to arenas even at small towns.

There have been several Lithuania players in NBA teams, including Portland Trail Blazers centre Arvydas Sabonis and Zydrunas “Big Z” Ilgauskas at Cleveland Cavaliers.

The national team have won numerous titles including winning the Fiba EuroBasket three times and have three Olympic bronze medals.