The Ball Family Era of UCLA came to a scorching end when LaVar Ball pulled LiAngelo Ball out of the Bruins’ program in response to his son’s indefinite suspension — a result of his incident in China regarding theft.
According to the Associated Press, while the Ball family and UCLA basketball have parted ways, the impact from LaVar and Co. “could have a lasting impact on the program.”
UCLA basketball moving on past Ball family era: https://t.co/gTTR0Nomaz
— Denver Post Sports (@DPostSports) December 15, 2017
The Ball’s impact on the Bruins on the court essentially is defined by Lonzo Ball’s one year on campus.
“Well, I really had one,” coach Steve Alford said, per the AP. “Lonzo, obviously, was terrific. The time I coached Lonzo was incredible. Very respectful young man. Somebody that didn’t miss class. On court, off court was incredible. Became a good leader by the time it was over with. Knew what you’d get out of him. Made people better. Knew he was one-and-done the day he stepped on campus and never acted that way. You didn’t see entitlement that sometimes you see in kids like that. He was a complete joy to coach.”
In his lone year with UCLA, Lonzo averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game and earned All-American status.
LiAngelo, of course, will always, and perhaps only, be remembered for his infamous trip to China.
He was one of three players — Jalen Hill and Cody Riley the other two — suspended after being investigated for theft during the team’s international trip to face Georgia Tech. Alford says the process on determining the final length of Hill and Riley’s suspensions is nearing its end.
“It’s not done, but we’ve heard the process is nearing an end,” Alford said Thursday. “My hope is we’ll hear something if not the end of this week by early next week.”
From the AP:
The UCLA Office of Student Conduct has done the review and deciphering that code will determine the players’ fates. Alford said he wasn’t involved in the interview process as part of that review and didn’t have input on what decision is made. Once the decision is relayed, he’ll have input in how things are handled moving forward.
Alford couldn’t officially comment specifically on LaMelo Ball due to NCAA rules.
“It’s just the way it is,” Alford said, per the AP. “It’s something that happened. It’s the 2019-2020 class. There’s all kinds of time. Right now, all of our attention is finishing the ‘18 class. … Even trying to project what the 2019 class is going to look like is hard for a lot of reasons. One, the one-and-done. And two, on the table and looks like something is going to pass relatively soon, eliminate one-and-dones. … The 2019 class is two years out from playing here, so that gives us plenty of time.”
LiAngelo and LaMelo recently signed contracts to play professionally overseas in Lithuania, where hype is already building for their arrival. According to ESPN, both sides have an option to opt-out of the contract after one month.
The fate of the Ball Family is their own, though. As for UCLA, the Bruins are 7-2 as they near Pac-12 play.
The post Associated Press: Ball family could have “lasting impact” on UCLA appeared first on Diehards.
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