LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball prepare for pro debuts in Lithuania

Lithuanian Basketball club Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus, left, talks to his player LaMelo Ball during a training session at the BC Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas arena in Prienai, Lithuania, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball have signed a one-year contract to play for Lithuanian professional basketball club Prienai – Birstonas Vytautas, in the southern Lithuania town of Prienai, some 110 km (68 miles) from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

UCLA is free from the grasp of the Ball Family, but the famous basketball clan is only just starting its international takeover.

Former UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball and his younger brother LaMelo Ball, a one-time UCLA commit, are slated to make their pro debuts on Monday for Lithuanian team Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas.

“For them it’s not going to be easy,” said Dainius Adomaitis, the Lithuanian national coach who coached four years in the LKL. “The first thing is it’s completely different basketball. It’s not high school basketball; it’s not NCAA basketball.”

More from John Henderson, special to the Southern California News Group, on the Balls making their pro debuts 

Steve Alford expects resolution to UCLA shoplifting investigation soon

UCLA coach Steve Alford shouts to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cal State Bakersfield in Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. UCLA won 75-66. (Reed Saxon/AP)

UCLA is already free from the Ball Family drama and it will soon be able to move on from the international shoplifting scandal that struck five weeks ago.

Head coach Steve Alford said Thursday he expects a resolution to the student conduct investigation involving freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley within one week and as early as the end of this week. When the final decision comes from UCLA’s Office of Student Conduct, Alford will be involved in any possible further discipline pertaining to the basketball team for the two freshmen who were arrested, along with LiAngelo Ball, for shoplifting in Hangzhou, China last month.

“It’s just one more of those distractions that we get behind us,” Alford said Thursday before the Bruins face No. 25 Cincinnati on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. “The guys in the locker room have had nothing to with any of it. So that’s why I’m very pleased with where we’re at. … This young team has had to deal with a lot, but we’re 7-2, playing well.” Continue reading “Steve Alford expects resolution to UCLA shoplifting investigation soon” »

LaVar Ball reportedly pulling LiAngelo from UCLA

LaVar Ball is putting an end to his son LiAngelo Ball‘s indefinite suspension at UCLA by working to pull the freshman guard from the school, according to multiple reports.

Ball, along with Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were suspended indefinitely while the school’s Office of Student Conduct investigates the shoplifting scandal that involved in all three of the freshmen being arrested in China last month. They were not allowed to practice, travel with the team or suit up for games during the suspension.

Video: UCLA basketball players, Steve Alford, Dan Guerrero address media after China incident

Guard LiAngelo Ball, forwards Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, head coach Steve Alford and athletic director Dan Guerrero addressed the media Wednesday in a news conference about the shoplifting incident in China last weekend. Everyone read a prepared statement and did not take questions.

Due to technical difficulties, Riley is not included on the following video, but hit the jump for a transcript of the Sierra Canyon alumnus’ statement:

Cody Riley: Continue reading “Video: UCLA basketball players, Steve Alford, Dan Guerrero address media after China incident” »