LaMelo Ball is Done Playing Overseas and Will Enroll At Spire Institue in Ohio
17-year-old former Chino Hills top-prospect basketball player LaMelo Ball will return to America to play for Spire Insitute in Geneva, Ohio. The decision was announced yesterday afternoon on his Twitter.
I’ve decided to return to highschool and complete my senior year. I thank my dad for the JBA Experience and playing overseas. I’ve been accepted to attend Spire Prep Academy in Geneva, Ohio where i look forward to earning my highschool diploma and winning with my new team! pic.twitter.com/FQzta0PiNE
— Melo (@MELOD1P) November 6, 2018
Justin Brantley who is Spire Associate Acamedy Director spoke to ESPN about LaMelo enrollment to the school.
“My understanding is [LaMelo] was looking to relive that high school experience, looking to really focus on his game, as well as his education, and graduate,” Brantley said. “It’s more so of a feeling-out process to make sure it was the right fit all the way around, make sure we can help him, make sure we can provide him what he needs socially.
“Basketball is the furthest thing from his mind [in this decision], because he can develop somewhere else. It’s all the components that Spire provides.” – Justin Brantley (ESPN)
Last October Ball left high basketball as the No. 7 recruit in the Class of 2019. The anticipation is already high for him to return to the high school circuit. He will play for their high school team as well as their prep team. Notable names he will play with include Michigan commit Rocket Watts and five-star junior Isiah Jackson.
“I’m excited to return to school and rejoin my class on the court for my senior year,” says LaMelo. “Playing in international competition was a great experience. I learned and matured so much. I appreciated the JBA experience my dad provided for me. I think it helped my development. I can’t wait to play with my peers.” – LaMelo Ball (Slam Magazine)
Since LaMelo never received compensation for playing in the JBA or overseas he is eligible to play this season. Melo will make his debut November 13 against Indiana’s La Lumiere. He will be eligible to play against other top prep schools since Spire Institute is a prep school. LaMelo will be able to enroll in the 2020 NBA Draft.
“He’s a scorer, he’s a player, he’s a facilitator,” Brantley said. “I’ve watched games and seen him rebound. I’ve watched games where he gets players involved around him. I’ve watched games and seen him score. When you have someone that brings all three tools to the table, I’m ecstatic about it. It just really adds to the dynamic of what we’re creating and producing here.” – Justin Brantely (ESPN)
Going back to high school is a smart move and let’s him see how much his game improved since playing for Chino. His passing, rebounding, athleticism, and handles have all improved since departing. He also now stands at 6’7.
Ball achieved a triple-double in his last JBA game against the London Lions. 41 points, 17 assists and 13 rebounds were the stat line for Melo. His averages for the 7 games were 29.2 PPG, 12.4 assists, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.1 steals.
Expect Melo to be in Ohio this week.
What LaMelo Has Been Up To Since Chino Hills
If you were wondering what LaMelo has been up to since becoming a viral hoop star check out this recap.
- After briefly playing professionally with his brother LiAngelo in Lithuania, Lavar pulled his sons out due to a dispute with head coach Virginijus Sleskus. BC Vytautas Prienai roster spot for the brothers was short lived.
- Lack of playing time for LaMelo was the main concern for Lavar, as well as preparation for the NBA Combine for LiAngelo.
- After not being selected in the 2018 NBA Draft LiAngelo along with LaMelo joined the Junior Basketball Association created by Lavar. The season kicked off this summer and included 8 teams with games in ten venues.
- LaMelo and LiAngelo’s team (Los Angeles Ballers) won the championship and then traveled overseas to play internationally. LiAngelo received MVP honors for the league.
- A 13-man roster from JBA started the international season September 22.
Catch some highlights of LaMelo below.