Ball Brothers ink short-term deal in Lithuania

LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball have agreed to one-year contracts with LKL side Vytautas Prienai.

The brothers signed the deal earlier tonight and are due to report to the team in early January.

Signing with Vytautas, currently third from bottom in the LKL will provide 16-year-old LaMelo and 19-year-old LiAngelo with much needed professional experience in a physical league that is literally thousands of miles away from the glitz and glamour of the NBA where their older brother Lonzo Ball currently plays with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite Vytautas’ rocky start to the new season, they are a well known team in the Lithuanian league, which is dominated by EuroLeague side Zalgiris. Harrison Gaines, the representative for both LaMelo and LiAngelo, handed out offers and worked to finalise the details of what is a very unique contract.

For LaMelo and LiAngelo, it means that they get the opportunity to play meaningful minutes in a competitive league with some already criticising over Twitter that Vytautas are going against their values, saying that this is one big publicity stunt.

For Gaines, his work is done. He has given the other two Ball brothers a pro deal.

“We engaged in serious talks with several teams, and Vytautas made the most sense as LaMelo and LiAngelo work to develop as professionals and set a foundation for their careers,” Gaines told Yahoo Sports.

“It was critical to find a situation in a competitive league that works with both of their short and long-term goals.”

Many are already skeptical regarding LiAngelo, who had committed to UCLA but left the team due to a shoplifting arrest in China earlier in the season. Many believe that he is no where near ready for the professional ranks, nor will he ever be drafted into the NBA.

However, the future looks bright for LaMelo, who seems to be a legitimate NBA candidate in later years. The former Chino Hills student left the program to be home schooled will be skipping two years of high school and his commitment at UCLA for this pro contract.

“Our club is excited for the arrival of LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball,” Vytautas sports director Vilius Vaitkevicius said. “We are committed to their long-term success and development as professional basketball players.”