Lonzo Ball is a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. He was one of the most high-profile players even before entering the professional ranks. Ball won several high school awards as he led Chino Hills High School to an undefeated record and the state title in his senior year. After an impressive stint in high school basketball, he signed on to play basketball for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He received numerous individual accolades during his one-year stint at UCLA, including being named consensus first-team All-American and leading the NCAA in assists. In this specific article, however, we will focus on Lonzo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball.
Due to his success at the amateur level, Lonzo Ball was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers as 2n/a overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in his first year with the Lakers. After two years in Los Angeles, he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans where he spent two more years before signing a lucrative four-year, $80 million deal to join the Chicago Bulls ahead of the 2021 NBA season. -2022. However, in this article, we will talk about the person who molded him into the player he has become. We’re here to talk about Lonzo Ball’s dad, LaVar Ball.
Lonzo Ball’s Father LaVar Ball
At first, everyone thought LaVar Ball was crazy when he came out of nowhere claiming that all of his sons would one day be in the NBA. He held his children in high esteem while raising them and he was the one who trained them.
But, before we dive deep into how he built his brand, let’s learn more about Lonzo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball.
LaVar Christopher Ball was born on October 23, 1967. He was raised in South Los Angeles, California by his parents Anderson and Maria Ball. He has two sisters and four brothers, his brothers are LaFrance, LaValle, LaRenzo and LaShon.
He attended Canoga Park High School in Canoga Park, Los Angeles. He was a multi-sport athlete there as he was a quarterback on the football team and he played as a forward for the basketball team. In one season, LaVar Ball grabbed 316 total rebounds to break the school record.
LaVar Ball began playing college basketball at West Los Angeles College in the lower-tier Western State Conference. In their season opener, he had 33 points and 18 rebounds. Ball was then transferred to NCAA Division I in Washington State, where he became their starting forward. However, he averaged just 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1 assist per game in the 26 games he played with the Cougars.
After one season, LaVar Ball transferred to NCAA Division II Cal State Los Angeles school where he played with three of his four brothers. Ball was later invited for a football tryout after his basketball career. He played a year of college football at Long Beach City College as a tight end.
On May 1, 1994, LaVar Ball was signed by the NFL’s New York Jets as a defensive end. The following year he was re-signed, this time as a tight end. However, he was sent directly to the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football (WLAF). During that season for the Monarchs, he had 0 catches but rushed for 28 yards in kick returns.
During his NFL career, he served on the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers practice squads. Unfortunately, he didn’t play any games and an injury forced him to retire and he eventually became a professional coach in California.
LaVar Ball didn’t catch the public eye until mid-2015, when news of his sons, Lonzo, Gelo and Melo, took their high school team to unprecedented heights.
In a 2016 interview with MaxPreps, LaVar compared Lonzo’s play to Magic Johnson, but with a sweater. That same year, he predicted his three sons would be one-time prospects and play in the NBA after one season of college basketball.
In March 2017, he said he considered Lonzo a better player than reigning MVP Stephen Curry. He also added that he thinks Lonzo is the best player in the world, comparing him to Russell Westbrook and LeBron James.
To add to his outlandish takes during this time, LaVar Ball said in an interview with USA Today that “he killing Michael Jordan one-on-one”.
“I would just step back (Jordan) and lift him off the floor and call a foul every time he fouls me when I hook right or left,” ball said. “He can’t stop me one-on-one. He better make every move because he can’t get around me. He’s not fast enough. And he can only make so many shots outside before I make every bucket under the ledge.
LaVar Ball also had a feud with Donald Trump in 2017 when his son, LiAngelo, and a few teammates were in Shanghai, China with UCLA and he was arrested for shoplifting at an upscale mall. Then-US President Donald Trump secured the release of LiAngelo and his teammates, and he later tweeted, “Do you think the three UCLA basketball players will say thank you to President Trump? They risked 10 years in prison!
Reports later emerged that Chinese authorities had dropped the charges five days before Trump was implicated. LaVar Ball responded to Trump via a tweet saying “Who? Why was he there? Don’t tell me. Everyone wants to give the impression that they have helped me.
Other than that, LaVar Ball is best known for the brand he started, Big Baller Brand (BBB), of which he is the co-founder and CEO. The brand began to grow in 2017 when it was led by LaVar and Lonzo Ball. LaVar has promoted his brand extensively on national television, even comparing it to big name brands like Nike and Adidas.
Their first signature shoe was called ZO2 and it was Lonzo’s signature shoe. It had a price tag of $495 which angered many people. BBB finally released LaMelo’s signature shoe, Melo Ball 1 (MB1) for $395. It was later followed by the Gelo 3 which is the same price as the MB1.
LaVar then created the Junior Basketball Association (JBA) which was fully funded by BBB. The league was to be defined as an alternative for high school players who don’t want to play college basketball. The lowest ranked players earned $3,000 per month while the highest ranked players earned $10,000 per month.
On top of everything, LaVar Ball and his family had a reality show posted on Facebook called “Ball in the Family.” The first episode aired on August 29, 2017 and ran for six seasons, with the final episode airing on December 20, 2020.
For all the outlandish takes and media frenzy LaVar Ball brought with him, his dream still came true. His eldest son, Lonzo, was drafted with the 2n/a overall pick and signed a lucrative $80 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. His youngest, LaMelo, was also drafted with the 2n/a overall pick and is now one of the league’s top point guards — not to mention a unique NBA All-Star. LiAngelo, on the other hand, is currently playing in the G League with the Greensboro Swarm and is one step closer to realizing his NBA dream.
Say what you want about LaVar, but he raised his kids well and they’re now reaping the benefits of his parenting. Nonetheless, as of this writing, this is the information we have on Lonzo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball.