LaVar Ball: LaMelo will not play in college, is 'definitely going overseas' to play next season

LaMelo Ball has officially ended all hopes of playing at the collegiate level.

The youngest of the three Ball brothers, who said earlier this year that he still planned to attempt to play in college next season, will be playing overseas next season in either Australia or China, his dad, LaVar, said on Sunday — foregoing any long-shot attempt at regaining his NCAA eligibility.

“I’m going to let you know the plan now, so everyone can just stop,” LaVar said. “In college, I already know what they were about to do. Like, ‘We’re going to investigate. We’re not going to let him play until we let him play. We’re not going let you do all that big-mouth talking and then we’re going to hold him back and a whole year go by.’

“The G League, I’m not going to let no 28, 29-year-old dudes tee off on him and try to make a name for himself, so he’s definitely going overseas.”

17 PHOTOS
The Ball family -- LaVar, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo
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The Ball family -- LaVar, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 19: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after a foul against the Houston Rockets in the first half at Toyota Center on January 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 30: Tina Ball and LaVar Ball attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on December 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 07: LaMelo Ball attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on November 07, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
KAUNAS, LITHUANIA - JANUARY 12: LaMelo Ball and LiAngelo Ball in action during the 2017/2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 17 game between Zalgiris Kaunas and Unicaja Malaga at Zalgirio Arena on January 12, 2018 in Kaunas, Lithuania. (Photo by Alius Koroliovas/EB via Getty Images)
CHINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: (L-R) Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball, LiAngelo Ball and LaVar Ball attend Melo Ball's 16th Birthday on September 2, 2017 in Chino, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Crosswalk Productions )
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 23: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media during a press conference at their training faculity in June 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 02: LaVar Ball holds courd during The Los Angeles Lakers game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball (15) looks on during an college exhibition basketball game between the Cal State Los Angeles and the UCLA Bruins on November 1, 2017, at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: LaMelo Ball, brother of Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers, walks off the court after shooting baskets as part of a promotion during a timeout of a 2017 Summer League game between the Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Clippers won 96-93 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 02: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on October 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: (L-R) Ice Cube and Lavar Ball compete in the Four Point Challenge during week eight of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Staples Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 01: (L-R) LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball attend the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies at Pauley Pavilion on March 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: LaVar Ball sits with his son LaMelo as they watch games during week eight of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Staples Center on August 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/BIG3/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that includes celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human-interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, June 12 included Diane Keaton ('AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Diane Keaton'), Lonzo and LaVar Ball and musical guest Phoenix. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) LAVAR BALL, LONZO BALL, JIMMY KIMMEL
BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 22: Lonzo Ball the number two pick selected by the Los Angeles Lakers talks to the media at the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Lonzo Ball walks on stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: LaVar Ball, father of second overall pick Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, speaks to media during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
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LaMelo hired an agent and left high school to play professionally in Lithuania with his brother, LiAngelo, which, along with his involvement with the Big Baller Brand, put his NCAA eligibility in serious jeopardy. Despite him being a five-star prospect, college programs have, for the most part, stayed away from LaMelo, too.

The announcement is in stark contrast to what LaMelo said last month, when he said he was “going, for sure” to play in college. He said he talked to multiple programs then, too, including USC and Kansas. Had he continued to pursue NCAA eligibility, he was likely going to have a tough, lengthy legal battle ahead of him.

LaMelo — who was pulled off the Lithuanian team with his brother over a coaching dispute — is back in the United States playing for the Spire Institute, an elite basketball-focused high school in Ohio.

So instead of attempting to play in the United States next year, it sounds like LaMelo will be joining either the Australian National Basketball League or a league in China, both of which offer lucrative deals for players like LaMelo.

If nothing else, this route at least ensures that LaMelo will be on the court somewhere next year instead of in the midst of a legal battle with the NCAA.

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