- Ethan Miller/Getty Images
While it might feel like ages, it was only months ago that LaVar Ball entered our lives with a slew of loudly-stated scorching-hot takes that basketball fans and the media at large couldn’t help but revel in.
One of the first takes that put the Big Baller Brand on the map was LaVar’s insistence on a billion-dollar shoe deal for the branding rights to all three of his sons over the course of their respective NBA careers.
Ball was rejected by Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour and chose to forge ahead on his own, realeasing Lonzo’s first signature shoe under the Big Baller Brand.
Now, the youngest Ball brother is getting in on the action as well.
LaMelo Ball is still in high school, but is currently the seventh-ranked player of the 2019 draft class according to ESPN. He’s committed to follow both of his older brothers’ path and play at UCLA before leaving for the NBA, but the release of his shoe, the $395 “Melo Ball 1,” raises concerns about LaMelo’s eligibility once he makes it to the Bruins.
Today, LaMelo Ball becomes the 1st high school player ever to have his own signature shoe. The "Melo Ball 1" pic.twitter.com/3EpJuBA1EF
— Big Baller Brand (@bigballerbrand) August 31, 2017
Playing at Chino Hills High School, LaMelo isn’t violating any rules as the man behind his own shoe, but according to NCAA rules, the use of any player’s name or image to advertise or promote a product is strictly forbidden, leaving some questions about what would happen if LaMelo went to UCLA with a shoe named after him already available for purchase.
“We’ll worry about it when we get there,” said Ball family patriarch LaVar to ESPN, confident as ever. “We’ll worry about it when we get there. Who cares? If he can’t play, then he can’t play. It doesn’t mean he’ll stop working out and getting better. Maybe in two years they’ll change the rule and he’ll be able to the NBA straight out of high school.”
The Melo Ball 1’s are available for pre-order now at Big Baller Brand with a starting price of $395.