ONTARIO, Calif. — LiAngelo Ball scored 53 points, leading the Los Angeles Ballers to a 171-140 victory over the Philadelphia Ballers in the Junior Basketball Association (JBA) on Thursday night.
Three weeks after not getting selected in the NBA draft, and also failing to get an invitation to play in the Summer League or participate in the NBA G League developmental league, Ball punctuated his night with two alley-oop dunks in the final two minutes.
“I feel good,” LiAngelo Ball said during a postgame interview on the JBA broadcast on Facebook. “I wanted to come out and get the hang of things and it was a good win.”
It’s unlikely the game tape will be used for a basketball coach’s defensive clinic. But the footage is sure to be a favorite in the Ball family. LaVar Ball, who started the league this year for pro hopefuls who didn’t want to play in college, frequently smiled while watching the game from his court side seat. He sat next to his wife and oldest son, Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball.
On a few crowd-pleasing plays, LiAngelo Ball, 19, teamed up with his 16-year-old brother, LaMelo Ball, who had 25 points, 19 assists and 17 rebounds for Los Angeles. LiAngelo Ball finished the game shooting 24-for-42 from the floor, but just 4-of-18 from 3-point range.
Three weeks after the league’s debut, the featured game of a doubleheader was played in front of a crowd of about 2,000 in Citizens Business Bank Arena, which is close to the Ball’s home in Southern California.
It was the most total points a team has scored to date, with the LA Ballers holding the previous mark in a 150-145 victory over the Seattle Ballers on June 24.
LiAngelo Ball was enrolled at UCLA for the 2017-18 season, but left school in December after being suspended following his arrest on shoplifting charges during the team’s trip to China. He played for a professional team in Lithuania from January-March with LaMelo, but the brothers abruptly left the team. At the same time, LiAngelo announced he was making himself eligible for the 2018 NBA draft.