NBA: It's a whole new ball-game for California siblings

 09 Feb 2017 - 20:55

AFP

Los Angeles: A trio of basketball-playing siblings from California have put the NBA on alert with a series of high-scoring performances that have grabbed national attention.
Lonzo Ball, 19, younger brother LiAngelo Ball, 18, and LaMelo Ball, 15, rose to prominence while playing together on their high school team in Chino Hills, roughly 36 miles (57 kilometres) east of Los Angeles.
So far, 19-year-old Lonzo has garnered the most interest after an impressive freshman season in college basketball with UCLA, where he has averaged 15.1 points and 7.8 assists per game.
The 6ft 6in (1.98m) point guard is widely seen as being one of the most sought-after talents in this year's NBA Draft, likely to be chosen either first or second overall.
One mock draft projection has Ball being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers, the iconic NBA franchise who are rebuilding after lurching from one catastrophic campaign to another in recent years.
But Lonzo's displays have almost been outshone by the performances of his younger brothers who have continued to shine back in the world of high school basketball with Chino Hills. On Tuesday, LaMelo served notice of his burgeoning talent by scoring an incredible 92 points in a 146-123 win over Los Osos, going 30-for-39 from two-point range.
LaMelo stepped up to lead the scoring with LiAngelo -- who in December posted 72 points in a game -- sitting on the sidelines nursing an injured ankle.
LaMelo's extraordinary scoring feat came just days after Chino Hills saw the end of their 60-game winning streak.
"Well I mean that's one way to bounce back after a loss,... I see you little bro 92," big brother Lonzo wrote on Twitter.
The performance also got the attention of the professional sports world, with NFL stars Jared Goff and Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson taking to Twitter to wax about his talents.
"Wow, kid can absolutely ball," was the verdict of Rams quarterback Goff.
The Ball brothers' precocious rise has been overseen by father LaVar, a towering former NFL player with the New York Jets, who runs a successful personal training business. The boys' mother, Tina, a former college basketball player who is now a school athletic director, has also guided their careers.
"I tell my boys all the time, someone has to be better than (Michael) Jordan. Why not you?" LaVar told the Maxpreps.com website.