LaVar Ball says younger sons hired agent, will play overseas after China incident

By Sports FOXBusiness

LaVar Ball refuses to thank President Trump

Larry Winget, author of 'Your Kids Are Your Own Fault,' reacts to UCLA basketball player's father LaVar Ball responding to President Trump.

LaVar Ball says his younger sons, LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo Ball, 16, have signed with a professional sports agent and will attempt to play basketball overseas, ending their college basketball careers before they begin.

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"I don't care about the money," LaVar Ball told ESPN on Thursday. "I want them to go somewhere where they will play them together on the court at the same time. The priority is for the boys to play on the same team."

The NCAA does not allow collegiate athletes to hire agents. The Ball family’s decision effectively strips LiAngelo and LaMelo of their amateur status and prevents them from playing at the college level.

LaVar Ball says he will likely travel internationally to support his younger sons wherever they sign to play and that their uncles will also make the trip.

The announcement came days after LaVar Ball pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA, where he had enrolled on a basketball scholarship, due to his dissatisfaction with the school’s disciplinary process. LiAngelo received an indefinite suspension after authorities caught him and two UCLA teammates shoplifting during the school’s overseas trip to China.

President Donald Trump personally intervened to aid in Ball’s release and return to the United States. However, Trump and LaVar Ball engaged in a war of words after Trump demanded that the players thank him for his help. When LaVar Ball publicly downplayed Trump’s role in bringing the incident to a close, Trump wrote on Twitter that he “should have left them in jail.”

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Ball’s oldest son, Lonzo, is a rookie point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. LiAngelo was not projected as an NBA prospect even before the shoplifting incident in China, while LaMelo was a highly-touted recruit before he withdrew from Chino Hills High School in California to be home-schooled and focus on basketball.

The minimum salary for an NBA rookie during the 2017-18 season is more than $800,000. By comparison, international players can earn anywhere from a middle five-figure annual salary to millions of dollars, depending on their league and skill level.

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