Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Anderson Ball (born October 27, 1997)[1] is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for one season with the UCLA Bruins, earning consensus first-team All-American honors before the Lakers selected him with the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2018.

As a high school senior at Chino Hills High School in 2016, Ball was awarded multiple national high school player of the year honors, and led his team to an undefeated record, as well as a national championship.[2][3] As a college freshman in 2016–17, he led the nation in assists and broke the UCLA record for the most assists in a season. Ball also won the Wayman Tisdale Award as the top freshman in the nation. As an NBA rookie, his playing time was limited by shoulder and knee injuries, and he was sidelined for much of his second season after an ankle injury.

Lonzo Ball
20160330 MCDAAG Lonzo Ball handle
No. 2 – Los Angeles Lakers
PositionPoint guard
LeagueNBA
Personal information
BornOctober 27, 1997 (age 21)
Anaheim, California
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolChino Hills (Chino Hills, California)
CollegeUCLA (2016–2017)
NBA draft2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career2017–present
Career history
2017–presentLos Angeles Lakers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Early life

Ball was born in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in Anaheim, California,[1] to LaVar and Tina Ball, who were both former college basketball players.[4] The 6-foot-6-inch (1.98 m) LaVar played at Washington State before transferring to Cal State Los Angeles, where the 6-foot-1-inch (1.85 m) Tina was also playing.[5][6] A two-sport athlete, LaVar also played American football professionally for the London Monarchs in the World League of American Football.[1]

Ball started playing basketball at the age of two.[1] He idolized LeBron James, who he began following around age six and when James was a first-year NBA player with Cleveland.[7] Ball grew up with his younger brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo. Until they reached high school, the trio played together on teams coached by their father.[5] Ball played basketball at Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California.[4] As a junior in 2014–15, he averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 5 blocks, and 5 steals.[8] In his senior year, he led the school to a 35–0 record and a state title, and the Huskies were ranked the consensus No. 1 team in the nation.[9][10] His younger brothers, junior LiAngelo and freshman LaMelo, were also on the team, as well as his cousin Andre.[11] Ball averaged a triple-double with averages of 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 11.7 assists per game.[4] He received national honors including the Naismith Prep Player of the Year,[2][3] Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year,[12] USA Today Boys Basketball Player of the Year,[13] and Mr. Basketball USA.[14]

College career

Ball was rated as a consensus five-star recruit by major scouting services.[15] In November 2015, he signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and play for the Bruins.[16] As a freshman in 2016–17, he was one of 50 players named to the preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the top college player in the nation.[17] Ball's vision and passing skills led UCLA's rise up the national rankings,[18] as he and fellow freshman T. J. Leaf helped the Bruins bounce back from a 15–17 record from the year before.[19] Ball led the nation in assists and transformed the Bruins into the top scoring offense in the country.[20] In his first collegiate game against Pacific, he had 19 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. Later in the year, Ball was named the MVP of the Wooden Legacy tournament, after he led UCLA to a win over Texas A&M in the championship game.[21] He remained on the Wooden Award list in midseason, when he was also joined by Leaf, as UCLA was one of just five schools with two candidates on the list.[22]

In a 107–66 blowout win against the Washington Huskies, Ball had 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists.[23] With close to two dozen NBA executives in attendance, the game matched Ball against the Huskies' Markelle Fultz, who were among the nation's top point guards and projected to be among the top picks in the 2017 NBA draft.[23][24] Fultz scored 25 points in an even matchup between the two freshmen.[23] In the Bruins' regular season finale, Ball had a career-high 14 assists in a 77–68 win over Washington State, when he also broke Gary Payton's 30-year-old Pac-12 season record for assists by a freshman.[25][26] UCLA was seeded No. 3 in the NCAA Tournament, and won their opening game 97–80 over Kent State. Ball had 15 points and three assists to surpass Larry Drew II's school record for most assists in a season.[27] In the second round, he flirted with a triple-double with 18 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists in a 79–67 win over Cincinnati.[28] All of his assists came in the second half, when UCLA overcame a three-point halftime deficit after scoring a season-low 30 points in the first half.[29] The Bruins were eliminated in the Sweet 16, losing 86–75 to Kentucky. Ball had 10 points, eight assists, and four turnovers in the loss, while Wildcats point guard De'Aaron Fox scored 39 points for an NCAA tournament freshman record. Ball strained his hamstring in the game and was limping in the second half, but did not offer it as an excuse for being outplayed.[30][31] After the game, he announced that he would declare for the 2017 NBA draft, where he was generally projected to be a top-3 pick.[30]

For the season, Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.0 rebounds. He was the only player in the nation to average at least 14 points, six assists, and six rebounds, and was the first player in the conference since California's Jason Kidd in 1993–94 to average at least 14 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.[32][33] His 274 assists also passed Kidd (272) for the second-most in a season by a Pac-12 player, behind only Ahlon Lewis (294) of Arizona State in 1997–98.[34] Ball made 55.1 percent of his field goal attempts and 41.2 of his three-point attempts to become the first NCAA Division I player since 1992–93 to make at least 70 percent from 2-point range and 40 percent from 3-point range.[35][36] He was a unanimous first-team All-American, earning honors from the Associated Press,[37] United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA),[38] National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC),[39] and Sporting News.[40] Additionally, he was awarded the Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA as the top freshman in the nation.[41] Ball was the only freshman to be a finalist for the Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year, and Oscar Robertson Trophy.[20][38][42] He was also voted Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was named first-team All-Pac-12 along with teammates Leaf and Bryce Alford.[33] He also received honorable mention for the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.[43]

Professional career

Los Angeles Lakers (2017–present)

Rookie season (2017–18)

Ball was selected with the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.[44] It was the third straight year they had the No. 2 pick. He and Brandon Ingram, their second overall pick from the previous year, headlined a young core for the Lakers.[45] D'Angelo Russell, their No. 2 pick in 2015, was traded days earlier, partly to clear the way for their newly drafted point guard. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson billed Ball as "the new face of the Lakers."[46] During the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Ball was named the league MVP after averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. He had two triple-doubles, the first in Vegas since 2008 and the first ever in Vegas by a rookie.[47][48] He had four games with 10 or more assists, becoming the first in league history to have more than 10 assists in more than one game; his 9.3 assist average was also a league record.[49][50]

As a rookie in 2017–18, Ball played in 52 games, missing 30 games due to shoulder and knee injuries.[51] In the second game of the season on October 20, 2017, he scored a career-high 29 points, to go along with 11 rebounds and 9 assists in a 132–130 win against the Phoenix Suns, falling one assist shy of becoming the youngest player to notch a triple double in NBA history.[52] In the following contest, he had eight points, eight rebounds, and 13 assists in a 119–112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to get at least 10 assists in a game.[53] On November 11, he recorded 19 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds in a 98–90 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, becoming the youngest player at the time to achieve a triple-double at the age of 20 years and 15 days old, breaking James's record by five days. Leading up to the game, Bucks' coach Jason Kidd, who Ball is often compared to, had called it "a stretch" to compare the two since it was too early in Ball's career.[54] Ball, who had been struggling with his shooting,[55] made over 50% of his field goals in a game for the first time in his career.[56][57] On November 19, he recorded his second triple-double with 11 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 127–109 win over the Denver Nuggets. It was the most rebounds by an NBA rookie guard since Steve Francis had 17 in 1999–2000.[58] He also joined fellow NBA rookie Ben Simmons, as well as Magic Johnson, Connie Hawkins, Art Williams, and Oscar Robertson as the only players to record multiple triple-doubles within the first 20 games of their NBA careers.[59]

Ball missed the team's Christmas game after spraining his left shoulder in the previous contest against the Portland Trail Blazers. His shooting had improved to 34.9 percent from the field and 29.7 percent on three-pointers after having made 44 percent of his field goals and 44.2 percent of his three-pointers in the seven games prior to the injury.[60] He returned after missing six games, playing in five games before spraining the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee against the Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2018. Originally, he was expected to be sidelined for one to three weeks.[61] Ball was selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend, but withdrew because of the injury.[62] He returned after the All-Star break after missing 15 games. On February 23, he played 17 minutes and had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 124–102 victory against the Mavericks. It was the first game he played all season that he did not start. He was also on a minutes restriction, and the Lakers held him out of their following contest to limit his back-to-back games during his return.[63][64] Ball missed the final eight games of the season due to a knee contusion.[65] He ended the season with averages of 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds, but made only 36 percent of his field goals.[66] He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team,[67] while fellow rookie teammate Kyle Kuzma exceeded expectations and earned first-team honors.[66]

2018–19 season

On July 17, 2018, Ball underwent an arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus.[68] The surgery limited him from working on his game; however, he increased his strength, particularly in his upper body, amidst the Lakers front office challenge for him to improve his durability. Ball set a goal to play all 82 games as a sophomore in 2018–19.[51] During the offseason, the Lakers signed the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James, which shifted the spotlight away from Ball.[66] They also signed veteran point guard Rajon Rondo to mentor and compete with the youngster. A week before camp, Lakers coach Luke Walton stated that Ball would be eased back and not participate in full-contact practices initially.[65]

Ball's added bulk made him better on defense,[7] and he became one of the Lakers' most dynamic defenders during the season as he picked up point guards full-court to create turnovers in the backcourt.[66] On offense, he had to adjust to playing off the ball more with James often handling the ball.[66][69] On December 15, in a 128–100 win against the Charlotte Hornets, the duo became the first teammates to achieve a triple-double in the same game since Jason Kidd and Vince Carter did it in 2007, with Ball posting 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, while James had 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. The last Lakers' teammates to accomplish the feat were Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1982.[70] It was Ball's third triple-double of his career and his first in over a year.[66] On January 19, 2019, he had a career-high seven assists in a quarter to help the Lakers build a 13-point lead over Houston after the first period.[51] In the third quarter, he collided with the Rockets' James Ennis III and suffered a Grade 3 left ankle sprain, which included a torn ligament.[71][72] Ball left the contest with 11 assists in 22 minutes and the team up by 18 points, but the Lakers lost the game in overtime 138–134.[51][71] He had suffered two other ankle injuries earlier in the season, but had been able to play in all of the team's first 47 games.[73] Ball had been playing some of the best basketball of his career at that point.[74] Since Walton called him out for being passive after a 108–86 loss against Minnesota, he had been averaging 13 points, 6.4 rebounds and 8.4 assists with nearly two steals over seven games before the injury.[75] Ball was selected again for the Rising Stars game, but he was ruled out again because of his ankle injury.[76] Originally expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks,[71] he was shut down for the rest of the season in March.[77][78]

Career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  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

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2017–18 L.A. Lakers 52 50 34.2 .360 .305 .451 6.9 7.2 1.7 .8 10.2
2018–19 L.A. Lakers 47 45 30.3 .406 .329 .417 5.3 5.4 1.5 .4 9.9
Career 99 95 32.4 .380 .315 .437 6.2 6.4 1.6 .6 10.0

College

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 UCLA 36 36 35.1 .551 .412 .673 6.0 7.6 1.8 .8 14.6

Player profile

Ball has an unorthodox jump shot whereby he moves the ball from his left hip to the left of his forehead. He rotates his right elbow in toward his chest until it reaches a 45-degree angle, when he shoots the ball towards the basket.[79][80][81] He prefers to shoot jumpers while moving towards his left.[79][81][82]

Ball began shooting in games from 40 feet (12 m) deep since he was a pre-teen.[81] In college, he shot 3-pointers from beyond the NBA line, which is 4 feet (1.2 m) longer than the 19-foot-9-inch (6.02 m) college line. His go-to shot with time expiring was a step-back 3-pointer from deep.[83] Though praised for his defensive instincts and effort Ball has been criticized for being injury prone missing already 40% of the games in his young NBA career.[84][85]

Awards and honors

NBA
College
High school
20160330 MCDAAG Lonzo Ball pass
Ball making a pass at the 2016 McDonald's All-American game

Endorsements

Ball began his pro career using sports apparel from his father LaVar's Big Baller Brand instead of signing with any of the major apparel companies. His father had insisted that he not sign with a company unless they agreed to license merchandise from Big Baller Brand.[88] In May 2017, Big Baller Brand announced the release of Ball's first shoe, the ZO2.[89] The $495 price tag on the shoe sparked wide criticism from celebrities and on social media. In response to his critics, LaVar tweeted on May 4, "If you can't afford the ZO2S, you're NOT a BIG BALLER!"[90] It was later revealed that despite not being a founder of the company, Lonzo owned 51% of the Big Baller Brand, while his father owned 16.4% of the business and both his mother and Alan Foster owned 16.3% of the business.[91] On April 6, 2018, Jordan Crawford became the first player besides Ball to wear the ZO2s during a game.[92]

On December 20, 2017, Ball was announced as the logo for the Junior Basketball Association (JBA), a league his father LaVar planned to establish for high-school basketball players who have finished high school but want an alternative option to the NCAA.[93]

In March 2019, Ball told ESPN.com that he had cut his ties with BBB's manager and co-founder Alan Foster, accusing him of "[using] his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself." In particular, he stated that $1.5 million of his personal money had gone missing. In addition, the Lakers showed concerns for the quality of BBB's shoes — believing it was a potential factor in his ankle injuries. Shortly afterward, Ball stripped references to BBB from his social media pages, changed his avatar to a childhood photo of himself wearing a Nike-branded T-shirt, permanently covered up his BBB tattoo, and posted a photograph of himself on Instagram with the caption "Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan" [sic].[77][94] Ball and his family also discussed the idea of folding the Big Baller Brand altogether in the aftermath of Alan Foster's firing.[95]

Music career

In September 2017, Ball released his first rap single, "Melo Ball 1", an ode to his youngest brother, LaMelo.[96] Not long after, during that same month, he released the song "ZO2", a dedication to his own brand of shoes. It would later be his lead single for his upcoming debut album. The following month, Ball released another rap single titled "Super Saiyan", which is a nod to the anime and manga series Dragon Ball Z. In the track, he compares himself to Goku, the main protagonist of DBZ.[97] On February 15, 2018, Ball and his father would participate in the Lip Sync Battle as competitors. That same day, Ball released his debut album, Born 2 Ball, under the name Zo. The album would be released under the Big Baller Music Group, a subsidiary of the Big Baller Brand, run by a close friend of his father.[98] In March, Born 2 Ball peaked at No. 42 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart and No. 13 on its Heatseekers Albums chart.[99][100]

Discography

Albums

  • 2018: Born 2 Ball

Singles

Personal life

Ball had previously been in a long-term relationship with Denise Garcia, whom he met in high school, but they later split up in the summer of 2018. They have a daughter.[101][102][103]

In August 2017, Ball and his family premiered in their Facebook Watch reality show, Ball in the Family.

References

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  74. ^ Oram, Bill (January 19, 2019). "Just as Lakers turn a corner, Lonzo Ball turns an ankle and everything's up in the air again". The Athletic. Retrieved January 23, 2019. (Subscription required (help)). Ball, meanwhile, had been enjoying one of the best stretches of his career. Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  75. ^ Kamentzky, Brian (January 22, 2019). "Four questions about Lonzo Ball, his ankle injury and eventual Lakers return". The Athletic. Retrieved January 23, 2019. (Subscription required (help)). Lonzo’s play has ebbed and flowed over the course of his year-plus in the NBA, but he was flowing in a big way since Walton called him out for passivity following a 108-86 pasting in Minnesota. Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)
  76. ^ Tanguli, Tania (January 29, 2019). "Lakers' Lonzo Ball concerned by possible Anthony Davis deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  77. ^ a b Shelburne, Ramona; Lavigne, Paul (March 23, 2019). "Lonzo axes pal over allegations $1.5M is missing". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  78. ^ "Reports: Lonzo Ball shut down for rest of season". NBA. March 9, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  79. ^ a b O'Connor, Kevin (March 17, 2017). "The Key to Understanding Lonzo Ball's Funky Jumper". The Ringer. Archived from the original on November 6, 2017.
  80. ^ Lynch, Andrew (March 29, 2017). "Lonzo Ball tells Chris Broussard why his shooting form isn't an issue". FoxSports.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017.
  81. ^ a b c Fisher, Jake (October 19, 2017). "Can Lonzo Ball's Jumper Make It in the NBA?". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017.
  82. ^ Curtis, Charles (November 3, 2017). "Charles Barkley explains why Lonzo Ball is 'only half a player'". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017.
  83. ^ Fowler, Clay (February 16, 2017). "Is Steve Alford comfortable with Lonzo Ball's 30-foot 3-pointers?". Inside Socal. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017.
  84. ^ https://lonzowire.usatoday.com/2019/01/26/lakers-rumors-nba-executives-scout-lonzo-ball-injury-prone-passive-trade-value/
  85. ^ https://www.express.co.uk/sport/othersport/1090726/Lonzo-Ball-injury-Skip-Bayless-LaVar-Ball-Los-Angeles-Lakers-NBA-news
  86. ^ a b Sondheimer, Eric (April 2, 2016). "Chino Hills' Lonzo Ball is The Times' boys' basketball player of the year". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 20, 2016.
  87. ^ a b Guardabascio, Mike (April 30, 2016). "Lonzo Ball earns MVP honors at Ballislife All-American Game in Long Beach". Long Beach Press–Telegram. Archived from the original on May 19, 2016.
  88. ^ "Report: Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all pass on sponsoring Lonzo Ball". CollegeBasketballTalk. April 28, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  89. ^ "Ball debuts shoe line; main pair to cost $495". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  90. ^ Tracy, Marc (May 5, 2017). "At $495, Lonzo Ball's ZO2 Sneakers Have Tastemakers Saying No Thanks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  91. ^ https://lonzowire.usatoday.com/2019/03/22/lonzo-ball-majority-big-baller-brand-alan-foster-lavar-ball/
  92. ^ "Jordan Crawford is 1st NBA player other than Lonzo Ball to wear ZO2s". April 8, 2018.
  93. ^ Rovell, Darren (December 20, 2017). "LaVar Ball plans to start league for high school graduates". ESPN. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  94. ^ Ellentuck, Matt (March 24, 2019). "Lonzo Ball removed all references to Big Baller Brand from his social media. Here's why". SBNation.com. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  95. ^ https://lonzowire.usatoday.com/2019/03/25/lonzo-ball-fold-big-baller-brand-lavar-ball-lamelo-ball-alan-foster/
  96. ^ "Hear Lonzo Ball's Debut Rap Song 'Melo Ball 1'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  97. ^ "For the fans 💥 #SuperSaiyan #OutNow". twitter.com. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  98. ^ "Lonzo Ball Shares 'Born 2 Ball' Album Cover, Tracklist - XXL". XXL Mag.
  99. ^ "Independent Albums". Billboard.
  100. ^ "Heatseekers Albums: Up and Coming Musicians Chart". Billboard.
  101. ^ "'Ball in the Family': Lonzo Ball, Denise Garcia reveal baby name". April 24, 2018.
  102. ^ "Lonzo Ball, Denise Garcia confirm break-up on Ball in the Family". November 19, 2018.
  103. ^ "Lonzo Ball Explains Breakup With Longtime Girlfriend Denise Garcia". NBA News Rumors Trades Stats Free Agency. December 13, 2018.

External links

2016 McDonald's All-American Boys Game

The 2016 McDonald's All-American Boys Game was an All-star basketball game played on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, home of the Chicago Bulls. The game's rosters features the best and most highly recruited high school boys graduating in 2016. The game is the 39th annual version of the McDonald's All-American Game first played in 1977.

The 24 players were selected from 2,500 nominees by a committee of basketball experts. They were chosen not only for their on-court skills but for their performances off the court as well. Coach Morgan Wootten, who had more than 1,200 wins as head basketball coach at DeMatha Catholic High School, was chairman of the selection committee. Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, who had been involved in the McDonald's All American Games since its inception, served as chairman of the Games and as an advisor to the selection committee.

Proceeds from the 2016 McDonald's All American High School Basketball Games will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio and its Ronald McDonald House program.

2016–17 Pac-12 Conference men's basketball season

The 2016–17 Pac-12 Conference men's basketball season begins with practices in October 2016 and ends with the 2017 Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament in March 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The regular season begins on the first weekend of November 11, 2016 with Arizona-Michigan State, with the conference schedule starting in the last week of December 28, 2016 with UCLA-Oregon.

This is the sixth season under the Pac-12 Conference name and the 58th since the conference was established under its current charter as the Athletic Association of Western Universities in 1959. Including the history of the Pacific Coast Conference, which operated from 1915 to 1959 and is considered by the Pac-12 as a part of its own history, this is the Pac-12's 102nd season of men's basketball.

2016–17 UCLA Bruins men's basketball team

The 2016–17 UCLA Bruins men's basketball team represented the University of California, Los Angeles during the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Bruins were led by fourth-year head coach Steve Alford and played their home games at Pauley Pavilion as members in the Pac-12 Conference. They rode their offense to a 28–3 regular season record, averaging 91 points per game with a 53 percent field goal percentage. The talented squad featured five future players in the National Basketball Association (NBA), including three eventual first-round draft picks.UCLA entered the season ranked No. 16 in the preseason. After starting 13–0, the first time they were undefeated in non-conference play since they won a national championship in 1994–95, they moved up to No. 2 in the country. However, the Bruins suffered their first defeat in an 89–87 loss to No. 21 Oregon in the conference opener. UCLA won their next six games before losing at home to No. 14 Arizona for their first loss of the season at Pauley Pavilion. The Wildcats exposed the Bruins weaknesses on defense, which had to that point been obscured by their potent offense. They suffered their second consecutive defeat after falling to USC, who won for the fourth straight time in their crosstown rivalry. They won their last nine games of the regular season to tie the school record for most regular season wins.The Bruins struggled uncharacteristically with their offense during the Pac-12 Tournament. They beat USC 76–74 while shooting just 41.2 percent before shooting a season-low 40.7 percent in an 86–75 loss to Arizona in the semifinals. UCLA entered the NCAA Tournament as a third seed in the South region. They advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the third time in four years, where they lost to 86–75 Kentucky.

2017 NBA draft

The 2017 NBA draft was held on June 22, 2017, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players.

The draft lottery took place during the playoffs on May 16, 2017. The 53–29 Boston Celtics, who were also the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and reached the Eastern Conference Finals at the time of the NBA draft lottery, won the #1 pick with pick swapping rights thanks to a previous trade with the Brooklyn Nets, who had the worst record the previous season. The Los Angeles Lakers, who had risked losing their 2017 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, moved up two spots to get the No. 2 pick, while Philadelphia moved up to receive the No. 3 pick due to the Sacramento Kings moving up in the draft, which activated pick swapping rights the 76ers had from an earlier trade. On June 19, four days before the NBA draft began, the Celtics and 76ers traded their top first round picks to each other, meaning the holders of the top four picks of this year's draft would be exactly the same as the previous year's draft.The draft class is the youngest draft class ever, with the most freshmen and fewest seniors selected in the first round; the top seven picks in the draft were all college freshmen. It was the third time, and the second in a row, that three players were selected from Serbian team KK Mega Basket in the same draft (Vlatko Čančar, Ognjen Jaramaz, Alpha Kaba), with it previously occurring during the 2014 and 2016 NBA draft. The draft also received a lot of media coverage from ESPN pertaining to eventual No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball and his outspoken father, LaVar Ball, much to the chagrin of many sports fans and even some ESPN employees. This was one of the rare occasions where a player drafted from their year did not win rookie of the year. Despite a terrific season from rookie Donovan Mitchell the award went to 2016 first overall pick Ben Simmons the first player to win the award in a year they weren’t drafted since Blake Griffin

2017 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

An All-American team is an honorary sports team composed of the best amateur players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply "All-Americans". Although the honorees generally do not compete together as a unit, the term is used in U.S. team sports to refer to players who are selected by members of the national media. Walter Camp selected the first All-America team in the early days of American football in 1889. The 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans are honorary lists that include All-American selections from the Associated Press (AP), the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), the Sporting News (TSN), and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) for the 2016–17 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. All selectors choose at least a first and second 5-man team. The NABC, TSN and AP choose third teams, while AP also lists honorable mention selections.

The Consensus 2017 College Basketball All-American team is determined by aggregating the results of the four major All-American teams as determined by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Since United Press International was replaced by TSN in 1997, the four major selectors have been the aforementioned ones. AP has been a selector since 1948, NABC since 1957 and USBWA since 1960. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors based on a point system computed from the four different all-America teams. The point system consists of three points for first team, two points for second team and one point for third team. No honorable mention or fourth team or lower are used in the computation. The top five totals plus ties are first team and the next five plus ties are second team.Although the aforementioned lists are used to determine consensus honors, there are numerous other All-American lists. The ten finalists for the John Wooden Award are described as Wooden All-Americans. The ten finalists for the Senior CLASS Award are described as Senior All-Americans. Other All-American lists include those determined by USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports and many others. The scholar-athletes selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) are termed Academic All-Americans.

2017 Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2017 Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament presented by New York Life was the postseason men's basketball tournament for the Pac-12 Conference and was played during March 8–11, 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The champion, Arizona, received the Pac-12 conference automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament with an 83-80 win over Oregon in the finals.

2017–18 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 2017–18 Los Angeles Lakers season was the franchise's 70th season, its 69th season in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and its 58th in Los Angeles.

On December 18, 2017 against the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers retired the numbers 8 and 24 of former shooting guard Kobe Bryant, making him the first NBA player to have two numbers retired on the same team.

2018–19 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 2018–19 Los Angeles Lakers season was the franchise's 71st season, its 70th season in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and its 59th in Los Angeles.

Following the signing of superstar LeBron James on July 1, 2018, the Lakers hoped to finish with a winning record and playoff appearance for the first time since the 2012–13 season. However, after an improved 20–14 start to the season, several injuries accumulated throughout the season including James, Rajon Rondo, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram, and the Lakers fell below .500 by the All-Star break. By March, the Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention, extending the team's postseason drought to a franchise record six seasons, and a sixth straight losing season. It is the first time James missed the playoffs since 2005 and first time he will not appear in the NBA finals since 2010.

On April 9, the conclusion of the Lakers' season, Magic Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations. Three days later, Luke Walton and the team agreed to part ways.

Ballislife All-American Game

The Ballislife All-American Game is an annual American all-star game featuring high school basketball players. It was founded in 2011 by Ballislife.com to provide a stage for West Coast players who were not selected to other All-American games. At the time, few players from the region were selected for the McDonald's All-American Game in Chicago or the Jordan Brand Classic in New York. Over time, the Ballislife game evolved to include top players throughout the nation.A slam dunk contest is also held in conjunction with the game.

Big Baller Brand

Big Baller Brand (BBB) is an American company that designs, manufactures, and sells clothing and shoes. Launched in 2016 by media personality LaVar Ball, it has most notably produced signature shoes for the Ball brothers: Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, and LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball of the Los Angeles Ballers. Big Baller Brand has additionally been involved in the creation of the Junior Basketball Association (JBA), which it will fully fund, and both the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games and Big Baller Brand International Tournament, which were a series of Lithuanian exhibition games hosted by BC Vytautas that featured LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball.

Junior Basketball Association

The Junior Basketball Association (JBA) is an American basketball league. It is designed as an alternative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), allowing high school and junior college players to immediately play professionally. The league was first announced in December 2017 by LaVar Ball, and he said it would be completely funded by Ball's sports apparel company Big Baller Brand. The JBA features eight teams from major American cities, with games in ten venues. It played its inaugural season during 2018.

LaVar Ball

LaVar Christopher Ball (born October 23, 1967) is an American media personality and businessman. He is the father of three basketball players: Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo; shooting guard LiAngelo, who was enrolled at UCLA briefly with a basketball scholarship; and current Los Angeles Ballers combo guard LaMelo. Ball is the founder and CEO of the sports apparel company Big Baller Brand and founder of the Junior Basketball Association (JBA).Ball played basketball and American football while at Canoga Park High School, going on to play basketball at the collegiate level for West Los Angeles College, Washington State and Cal State Los Angeles. He also played football at Long Beach City College for a season. He had a brief professional career with the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football, where as a tight end he had a total of 28 kickoff return yards, and no receptions. He was a practice squad member of the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers in 1995, but never played an official regular season game in the National Football League.

Following a series of bold statements in the spring of 2017, Ball began repeatedly making national sports headlines. His early remarks included saying that his son Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry and claiming that he himself could defeat Michael Jordan one-on-one in basketball. He was subject to both praise and criticism as he continued making similar comments, some of which involved his company, Big Baller Brand. Ball has made several appearances on national TV and has routinely drawn attention from major sports media outlets. He has also been in the spotlight for his criticism of his sons' teams, most notably the Lakers for their treatment of Lonzo, as well as for his exchange with U.S. President Donald Trump after LiAngelo was detained in China for shoplifting.

LiAngelo Ball

LiAngelo Robert Ball (born November 24, 1998) is an American basketball player who last played for the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association (JBA). Ball has previously played for BC Prienai of the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL).

A 6-foot-5, 215-pound shooting guard, he had originally signed to play with the UCLA Bruins as a three-star recruit but withdrew from the university after he was suspended for a shoplifting arrest in China in November 2017. Ball competed for Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California for four years, gaining national exposure in 2015–16 while playing with his brothers: current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo and former UCLA commit LaMelo Ball. His father LaVar grew into a media personality starting in 2016 with Lonzo's success at UCLA.

At Chino Hills, Ball led his team in scoring for multiple seasons and averaged a state-high 33.8 points per game as a senior. When he was a junior, he helped his team, which starred both of his brothers, complete an undefeated season and win the state championship. In his final season, he drew attention for high scoring outputs, including a 72-point game and several efforts of 50 or more points. Through his years with Chino Hills, Ball earned All-Area and All-State honors on multiple occasions. He finished his high school career among the top scorers in CIF Southern Section history.

List of NCAA Division I men's basketball season assists leaders

In basketball, an assist is a pass to a teammate that directly leads to a score by field goal. The National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I assist title is awarded to the player with the highest assists per game average in a given season. The assist title was first recognized in the 1950–51 season when statistics on assists were first compiled by the NCAA, but there are no officially recorded assist leaders between 1952–53 and 1982–83. The NCAA did not split into its current divisions format until August 1973. From 1906 to 1955, there were no classifications to the NCAA nor its predecessor, the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS). Then, from 1956 to 1973, colleges were classified as either "NCAA University Division (Major College)" or "NCAA College Division (Small College)".Avery Johnson of Southern University holds the all-time NCAA Division I record for single season assists per game (apg) average (13.30), which he accomplished in 1987–88. He also recorded 399 assists that season, which is the second highest single season mark behind UNLV's Mark Wade's record of 406, which occurred in 1986–87. From 1952–53 to 1982–83, the official NCAA record book has no assists per game leaders. Oklahoma freshman Trae Young was the first player to lead the NCAA in both assists and points in the 2017–18 season, while Murray State sophomore Ja Morant was the first player in NCAA history to average at least 20 points and 10 assists throughout the same season in the 2018–19 season.

Only three players have earned multiple assist titles: Avery Johnson of Southern (1987, 1988), Jared Jordan of Marist (2006, 2007), and Jason Brickman of LIU Brooklyn (2013, 2014). There has been one tie for the national assists leader, which happened during the 2004–05 season when Damitrius Coleman of Mercer and Will Funn of Portland State recorded identical season statistics: 28 games played, 224 total assists and an 8.00 apg average.Through 2019, only three freshmen (T. J. Ford, Lonzo Ball, and Trae Young) and two sophomores (Jason Kidd and Ja Morant) have led Division I in average assists. Two players born outside the United States have led Division I in assists — 1995–96 leader Raimonds Miglinieks of UC Irvine, born in modern-day Latvia (the Latvian SSR of the Soviet Union at the time of his birth), and 1999–2000 leader Mark Dickel of UNLV, born in New Zealand.

Melo Ball 1

"Melo Ball 1" is a rap single by American professional basketball player Lonzo Ball, featuring singer Kenneth Paige. Released on September 8, 2017, it is Ball's first official song and is about his younger brother LaMelo Ball and his signature Big Baller Brand shoe, the Melo Ball 1 (MB1). A segment of the song first appeared in a video published by SLAM magazine that debuted the MB1 shoes. The song was produced by 80's Baby Entertainment, Inc. under his family-owned record label Big Baller Music Group.

Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Freshman of the Year

The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year is an annual award in the Pac-12 Conference presented to its top freshman player in men's basketball. The winner is chosen by the Pac-12 coaches. The honor began in 1979–80, when it was known as the Rookie of the Year and players in their first year in the conference, including transfers, were eligible. Junior guard Bryan Rison of Washington State was the first honoree and the only non-freshman to ever win. The candidates were limited to freshman starting in 1983–84, when the award was renamed to Freshman of the Year. The conference was known as the Pacific-10 before becoming the Pac-12 in 2011. Three winners were also named the conference's player of the year in the same year: Shareef Abdur-Rahim (California, 1996), Kevin Love (UCLA, 2008), and Deandre Ayton (Arizona, 2018).

Stage mother

In the performing arts, a stage mother is the mother of a child actor. The mother will often drive her child to auditions, make sure he or she is on the set on time, etc. The term stage mother sometimes has a negative connotation, suggesting that the individual is prone to obnoxiously demanding special treatment for her child, or suggesting that the individual has placed inappropriate pressure on her child to succeed, perhaps for reasons of vicariously living out her own dreams through the child. Entitled and grandiose demands have sometimes led to reportedly veiled threats from a stage parent.

T. J. Leaf

Ty Jacob "T. J." Leaf (born April 30, 1997) is an American-Israeli professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After playing one season of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins, he was selected by the Pacers in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft with the 18th overall pick.

Leaf was named an All-American as a high school senior in 2016. As a UCLA freshman in 2016–17, he earned first-team all-conference honors in the Pac-12. He also played for Israel's Under-18 junior national team at the 2015 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship B Division.

ZO2

"ZO2" is a rap single by American professional basketball player Lonzo Ball. Released on September 28, 2017, it is Ball's second single and revolves around his signature "ZO2" shoes by Big Baller Brand. The song was produced by 80's Baby Entertainment, Inc. under his family-owned record label Big Baller Music Group.

Lonzo Ball
Entourage
Media
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