In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new Ball in town and it’s not Lonzo. Not to take anything away from Lonzo Ball, he’s an incredible player and a sure-fire lottery pick, but his brother Lamelo Ball just dropped 92 in a highs school game. Yes, you heard me right. Ninety. Two. Ball went 37-61 from the field equating to those 92 points while also dishing out seven assists. Little background on the Ball brothers; there’s three of them starting with UCLA phenome freshmen Lonzo Ball followed by 6”5 220lb also UCLA commit LiAngelo Ball, and of course 15-year old LaMelo Ball, who you guessed it also committed to UCLA. The Ball brothers are extremely close as you can see they are all following in Lonzo’s footsteps and are from Chino Hills, California all having played or currently playing for Chino High School.
What speaks volumes to me is that this performance from Ball comes after their first loss of the season and they were a man down, a big man down, that being his brother LiAngelo. Surprisingly, LaMelo is getting a lot of criticism for his 92-point performance, specifically defensively and for his “cherry-pick” layups. First off, let me just get this off my chest. I don’t care what league you’re in Little League, AAU, middle school, high school etc, you put up 92 points in a single game that is an incredible feat at the least. Now we get to the criticism, yes, his defense was poor in the second half especially the fourth quarter (where he dropped 41points mind you) and at times didn’t cross half court on a few possessions. No, this isn’t the type of basketball we want to teach our youth, trust me I’m all about defense and appreciate it more than most. But to say it was an embarrassment to basketball is beside me. My question is did they win the game? And as a matter of fact, they did win the game 146-123. So, whatever it is they were doing worked, they won the game. From a team standpoint that’s all you could ask for and why didn’t the other team or coach combat this approach or take advantage of it? Beats me, but they didn’t, and LaMelo’s team got the dub, so I’m fine with it at the end of the day. If they were to lose this game that a totally different story, but they didn’t, so end of story.
Now as for the “cherry pick” layups I don’t know what to tell you, he capitalized on poor defense. Would you have rather he missed them? He did what great players do against poor defenses at any level, score, and score with reckless abandon. So, I don’t really understand that argument especially because umm yeah once again they won the game. Also, let’s not forget just cause he’s on varsity basketball that he’s a kid, literally, he’s 15 years old, wasn’t even born in the same century as most of us. Lastly, and the part that makes me the biggest LaMelo Ball fan, is that he dedicated this game to a fellow classmate, Lexi Anderson, who is in need of a heart transplant. Lexi successfully underwent emergency surgery Tuesday as her condition worsened, thankfully the surgery went well but she is still looking for a donor long term. The community has created a GoFundMe which can be accessed here, as she is still in serious need. A great act by Ball and the whole community, let’s #Pray4Lexi.