11:46am: The agent for LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball has reached out to teams in Lithuania, Croatia, France and Japan, but the players haven’t received any formal offers, tweets Nicola Lupo of Sportando.
The Vertical reported earlier this week that their representative, Harrison Gaines, has been contacting international teams, and it appears that effort has been successful. Carchia shares the text of an email that was sent to Basketeurope.com on behalf of the Ball brothers.
“Money is not a big concern and they would ideally like to play for the same club,” the email reads. “This undoubtedly would bring much attention to your organization.”
LiAngelo was pulled out of UCLA recently after being disciplined for an international incident last month in which he and two teammates were charged with shoplifting in China. Scouts don’t consider him an NBA prospect, and he would have been a long shot to be drafted next year even if he had stayed in college. LaMelo is a prospect for 2019, but is only 16. His father, LaVar, pulled him out of Chino Hills High School in October.
UCLA coach Steve Alford is defending himself and his program in the wake of criticism from LaVar Ball over the way LiAngelo’s case was handled, relays Josh Peter of USA Today. Ball says his son should have been reinstated to the team immediately when the criminal charges in China were dropped.
“This place gets it,’’ Alford said. “They know how to do things. I’m fully confident. I’ve been right on point with everything that’s happened to date as far as how things have progressed and obviously the young men’s safety and getting them back here was the most important.’’