LiAngelo Robert Ball (born November 24, 1998) is an American basketball player.
Ball committed to play college basketball with the UCLA Bruins but was suspended indefinitely with two other teammates after they were arrested in China for shoplifting. He later joined the Vytautas Prienai–Birštonas in Lithuania. After one season in Lithuania, he went undrafted and signed with Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association (JBA), a league founded by his father, before joining the G League at the end of 2019–20. He was briefly signed to the Detroit Pistons in late 2020, but was waived prior to the start of the 2020-21 season.
Ball has a signature shoe by his father's company, Big Baller Brand, and a role on his family's Facebook Watch reality show Ball in the Family.
- 1 Early life
- 2 High school career
- 3 College career
- 4 Professional career
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 See Also
Born in Anaheim to LaVar and Tina Ball, LiAngelo was raised in the suburb of Chino Hills along with his two brothers, NBA point guards Lonzo and LaMelo. Both of his parents were student-athletes at Cal State Los Angeles: Lavar was an American football player and Tina was a basketball player.
In his childhood, Ball often played basketball against older opponents, facing teams of fourth and fifth-graders while in kindergarten. He began playing basketball at age four and at seven-year-old, he also began playing flag football with his brothers. While Lonzo was a quarterback, LiAngelo and LaMelo caught passes. On the basketball court, LiAngelo grew up playing with his brothers on Big Ballers VXT, an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) under-17 team created by their father and coached by both parents.
High school career
Ball played basketball for four years at Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California. As a freshman, he started alongside his older brother, Lonzo. Ball helped Chino Hills reach its first-ever CIF Southern Section Open Division championship game. Chino Hills fell in overtime to Centennial High School at the Southern California Regional Division I final. As a sophomore, Ball was teammates with his brother, Lonzo, and his cousin, Andre Ball. He suffered a foot injury before the season and missed a tournament at Fairfax High School in June 2014. On September 14, he scored 35 points with seven three-pointers to win the Ron Massey Memorial Fall Hoops Classic. In December 2014, Ball scored 53 points in a 111–80 win over Dorsey High School. At the end of the season, Ball was sidelined for four games with an ankle sprain but returned for the playoffs. His team lost at the CIF State Division I championship game. After the season, on April 21, he verbally committed to play college basketball for UCLA.
In his junior season, Ball played with both of his brothers, Lonzo and LaMelo. In December 2015, Ball scored 32 points to upset top-ranked Montverde Academy in the City of Palms Classic quarterfinals. He scored 40 points in a semifinal win over High Point Christian Academy and won the tournament. Against Jonesboro High School at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic, Ball scored 41 points. On February 11, he led all scorers with 32 points against Etiwanda High School, as Chino Hills finished the regular season with a 27–0 record. On March 5, 2016, he scored 31 points to win the CIF Southern Section Open Division title over Sierra Canyon School. On March 26, he had 18 points to win the Open Division title over De La Salle High School. As a junior, Ball averaged 27.4 points per game, which led his team. His team finished 35–0 and was named mythical national champion by MaxPreps, who also labeled their title run "perhaps the best brother act in high school basketball history."
On November 29, Ball scored 56 points in a 121–89 win over Lutheran High School of Orange County. In his following game, which was played on the next day, Ball scored a career-high 72 points with 13 three-pointers in a 128–108 victory over Rancho Christian School, the tenth-most points scored in a single game in California high school history. On December 26, when he scored 65 points in a Rancho Mirage Holiday Invitational win over Foothill High School. On January 20, 2017, Ball scored 60 points in a 136–93 win over Los Osos High School. Seven days later, he registered 52 points and 10 three-pointers in a victory against Damien High School. His team fell in the CIF Southern Section Open Division semifinals to Bishop Montgomery High School. After a 30–3 season, he was named All-Area Player of the Year by The San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Ball was also a first-team All-State and honorable mention All-American selection by MaxPreps. In addition, he averaged 33.8 points per game as a senior, leading the state of California in scoring.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Chino Hills (CA)||Chino Hills (CA)||6 ft 5.3 in (1.96 m)||220 lb (100 kg)||Apr 21, 2015|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: N/A Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: ESPN grade: 79|
|Overall recruiting rankings: 247Sports: 226, 50 (SG), 22 (CA) ESPN: 41 (SF), 16 (CA)|
Despite his success at Chino Hills, Ball remained a largely unheralded prospect and was rated a consensus three-star recruit out of high school. 247Sports.com ranked him outside of their top-200 recruits nationally and as the 50th best shooting guard in his class. Having already committed to play for the UCLA Bruins as a high school sophomore, Ball signed a letter of intent on November 2, 2016, and finally enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles on June 1, 2017. He was projected to be a reserve for during his 2017–18 freshman season for UCLA, whose backcourt was led by freshman Jaylen Hands and junior Aaron Holiday. He played his only game with the Bruins in the preseason on November 1, 2017, against NCAA Division II team Cal State Los Angeles, scoring 11 points and shooting 4-of-8 from the field.
Hangzhou shoplifting incident
On November 7, 2017, days before UCLA's regular season opener against Georgia Tech in Shanghai, China, Ball and two other freshman teammates were arrested in Hangzhou for allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store at a high-end shopping center near their team hotel. The trio potentially faced a fine and three to ten years in prison. Soon after, Ball and his teammates were released from custody and they flew back to America. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly credited efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump and the United States Department of State for the result. Meanwhile, Trump demanded the players thank him for his efforts. In a subsequent press conference, Ball admitted to stealing and thanked Trump for helping him leave China, although he added that the university forced him to add the thanks to his speech. On March 3, 2018, ESPN reported that the three players had also stolen sunglasses and bracelets from two other stores within 90 minutes of their first theft, the players had been bailed out before the public learnt of their arrests, and that the charges against the players had been dropped two days before any involvement by President Trump or Chief of Staff Kelly occurred.
As a result of his shoplifting incident, Ball was suspended indefinitely from the UCLA basketball program. On December 4, he announced that he planned to withdraw from UCLA; his father LaVar had grown frustrated over the length of the suspension. Had Ball stayed at UCLA, he would have remained suspended for the rest of the season
Although Ball was not considered a prospect at the time for the National Basketball Association (NBA), he planned on preparing for the 2018 NBA draft with LaVar Ball following his departure from UCLA. On December 11, 2017, he signed with BC Prienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL), along with his younger brother LaMelo, who was also skipping college basketball after dropping out from Chino Hills before his junior year. They signed contracts for the remainder of the season, with both sides having the option to terminate the deal after one month. Ball started playing for the team in January 2018, with his debut coming on January 9 at the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games, a friendly five-game series hosted by Prienai and designed to feature LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball.
In his professional debut in the 2017–18 LKL season, Ball failed to score, shooting 0-of-3 from the field in limited playing time as his team fell to Lietkabelis Panevėžys. In his second LKL game, Ball recorded a game-high 20 points and 3 rebounds in a 116–93 loss to Pieno žvaigždės Pasvalys. On February 4, Ball scored 25 points, with 6 three-pointers, in a loss to Žalgiris Kaunas. A week later, he made his first start for Prienai, recording 13 points in a 97–95 victory over Šiaulių Šiauliai. On March 25, Ball posted a season-high 28 points, with 6 three-pointers, in a loss to Nevėžis Kėdainiai.
On March 27, 2018, Ball announced that he would enter the 2018 NBA draft, even though most analysts believed that he was a long shot to be selected. In an exhibition game later in the day, he erupted for 72 points and 11 rebounds against a youth squad for the Chinese club Guangdong Southern Tigers. Sports website SB Nation criticized the low level of competition and lack of defense in the game, viewing it as an attempt to "get LiAngelo buzz" after his draft entry. On April 19, Ball injured his ankle and left early versus Juventus Utena. On April 25, it was announced that both Ball and his brother were leaving Prienai, with their father displaying resentment towards the team's head coach Virginijus Šeškus. He finished the LKL season averaging 12.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game, shooting 41.5% from the three-point line. Ball was not selected at the 2018 NBA draft.
Los Angeles Ballers (2018)
On July 9, 2018, Ball signed with the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association, a league founded by his father as an alternative to college basketball. In his season debut on July 14, he tallied 53 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Ball recorded a season-high 54 points, with 21-of-49 shooting, and 16 rebounds in a 130–122 win over the Chicago Ballers. Through four regular season games, he averaged a league-high 51.8 points and 12 rebounds per game. Ball was named to the West roster for the JBA All-Star Game and was named co-MVP of the game after scoring 39 points. Ball recorded 39 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals in a 202–189 win to claim the All-Star Game MVP award. In his first playoff game, he led all scorers with 58 points in a 157–134 win over the Philadelphia Ballers. On August 12, Ball recorded 58 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists in a Finals victory over the Seattle Ballers and was subsequently named Finals MVP. At the end of the season, Ball was among 14 players in the league named to the JBA USA Team, which faced several European teams on an international tour.
Oklahoma City Blue (2020)
On December 29, 2019, Ball signed with the Oklahoma City Blue of the NBA G League as a practice player. On March 9, 2020, he signed with the Blue by waiver claim. The Blue played just one game, which Ball did not play in, before the remainder of the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Detroit Pistons (2020)
On December 2, 2020, Ball was signed to a training camp contract by the Detroit Pistons. On December 13, 2020, he was waived without playing in the December 11, 2020 pre-season game.
|GP||Games played||MPG||Minutes per game||FG%||Field goal percentage|
|3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage||RPG||Rebounds per game|
|APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game||BPG||Blocks per game|
|PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high||Led the league|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Ball won a championship|
|*||Led the league|
|2018†||Los Angeles Ballers||JBA||4||41.2||.428||.208||.680||11.5||5.8||2.0||1.0||51.8*|
|2018†||Los Angeles Ballers||3||3||40||.437||.377||.652||8.7||3||2||.3||47.3|
Updated to match(es) played on August 13, 2018.
In August 2017, Ball and his family premiered in their Facebook Watch reality show, Ball in the Family. His cousin, Andre, plays college basketball for Pepperdine.