Normally, when a five-star basketball recruit includes the Michigan State Spartans in any list of possible destinations, it’s a reason to celebrate. This time, it may just be a reason to laugh.
Former high school standout-turned-reality star-turned-Lithuanian professional basketball player LaMelo Ball announced Friday that he was returning to high school to finish his senior season. And because the Ball family never does just one step at a time, in the press conference held at Spire Institute where he will be playing (he actually had a press conference...) Ball mentioned a list of colleges he would consider attending.
Duke, Kansas, North Carolina and Michigan State.
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
To be fair, this wasn’t exactly a list of finalists that most high school players would give. Ball mentioned that he wanted to play at a “top school” and then gave that list.
The irony, of course, is the point guard listed four schools with huge personalities at the head coach position. Personalities that would not mesh with what we know about Ball’s father, LaVar. The thought of LaVar looking over the shoulder of Tom Izzo is enough to make any Spartans fan laugh.
The Ball family presence isn’t the only reason it would make no sense to see LaMelo in East Lansing next year. While he is unquestionably talented, he has a tendency to launch three-pointers from just about anywhere on the court. That’s not something that Izzo especially enjoys seeing from his point guard.
Ball will team up with MSU commit Mark “Rocket” Watts at SPIRE Institute. So who knows, maybe they will form a bond that lasts into their collegiate years.
Of course, on top of all of that, LaMelo may not even be eligible to play in the NCAA. Considering the amount of players who have lost eligibility because of seemingly innocuous things, the idea of allowing someone who played professionally in Europe is unlikely – no matter what LaVar says.
The Ball family isn’t going to be spending any meaningful time in East Lansing, so fans should just enjoy the ride. Whenever you get too down, just envision LaVar trying to tell Izzo how to coach from outside of a closed office door.