In the sports world, we love hypotheticals. Sometimes those hypotheticals are mentioned as real possibilities by the parties involved, which can create even more serious thought as to whether or not it really would’ve happened, and what would’ve been the results. LeBron James famously stated that if he had to go to college, he would’ve gone to North Carolina. Kobe Bryant stated that if given the choice, he would’ve attended Duke. It would’ve been fun to see what would’ve happened if either of these scenarios played out, whether it’d benefit UNC or not, but unfortunately these are just fantasies in 2018.
However, while hypotheticals run rampant in sports, there is also the possibility that see and/or hear things that aren’t impossible, but realistically aren’t likely to happen. This is where Lavar Ball’s son LaMelo Ball comes into play. Earlier today, WKYC sportswriter Ben Axelrod tweeted that LaMelo Ball has a list of colleges that he would like to attend once he graduates high school:
LaMelo Ball said he hopes to play college basketball at a top school. Mentioned North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State.— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) November 9, 2018
For those who aren’t familiar (which tells me you may or may not have been living under a rock, it’s ok, no judgment here), LaMelo Ball and his brother LiAngelo Ball decided to take their talents overseas to Lithuania after LiAngelo got into trouble while playing for UCLA for shoplifting. This was Lavar’s grand scheme to get his boys some professional experience, and to basically manipulate the NBA’s OAD rule. It was a good plan in theory, but at the end of the day the experiment failed. The brothers couldn’t hang against professional players, and now LaMelo is going back to high school.
So then, if LaMelo played professionally, had an agent during that time, and has his own shoes, how can he possibly play in the NCAA? Short answer: he can’t. Sure, Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan State are fun destinations for that kind of talent, but his dad’s shenanigans for lack of a better word screwed him over as far as that aspiration goes. Unless the NCAA completely loses their minds, there is a 0.01% chance that we will ever see LaMelo Ball play college basketball, with a 0.01% margin of error. The likely destination for him is the G League, now that the new rules are in place for kids to take that option out of high school.
As I mentioned earlier, sports fans love hypotheticals. So, hypothetically, what if LaMelo Ball actually was eligible to play in college? Would there be a chance at him attending North Carolina and becoming a Tar Heel? Let’s put it this way: there is probably a better chance of LeBron suiting up in Carolina blue for a season than that ever happening.
Ever since LaMelo’s brother Lonzo Ball played for UCLA, their father Lavar Ball has been all over national media. He’s been loud, he’s been cocky, and he’s done so many questionable things that quite honestly, I don’t personally understand. He is a walking, talking distraction, and there’s no way that Roy Williams would allow such an extreme level of shenanigans into his program. Sure, LaMelo is a good player, and prior to leaving high school he was top 10 in the nation. How much, though, would one want to put up with just to have that kind of talent?
There is also a situation that occurred a while back that some people may have forgotten about, and I would safely bet everything that I own that if LaMelo joined UNC it would be resurfaced and it would become a huge problem. Given the way that the entire Ball family conducts things, I have a very hard time believing that he would make it through an entire school year without a new issue occurring as well. The school doesn’t or need that type of publicity, and so in the event that the NCAA does indeed lose their minds, Ball should go ahead and cross UNC off of his list.
In short, Ball’s comments are fitting for a “fun” hypothetical, but they aren’t realistic at all. We should anticipate him going pro after high school, and if he proves that he has what it takes he will be in the NBA Draft the following year. Should he manage to get into college basketball somehow (which once again, it won’t happen), the other schools can have him. I’d actually pay to see Lavar Ball crowdsurfing atop the Cameron Crazies.