LaMelo Ball has First Signature Shoe, NCAA Eligibility in Question
Lonzo Ball was the first Ball brother to receive his very own signature shoe, and sure enough, the official release was matched with controversy.
Now, the youngest of the brothers, LaMelo has his very first signature shoe. As of Thursday, Melo Ball 1’s are available for purchase for the premium price of $395 – slightly cheaper than his brother Lonzo’s Zo1’s. And of course, while it’s neat to be going into junior year of high school with your very own signature shoe, LaMelo’s NCAA eligibility has come under question.
This is another case of LaVar Ball prioritizing the Big Baller Brand over everything and he is now placing it over his youngest son’s eligibility. A UCLA commit, LaMelo may not be allowed to play basketball in college as using “name or picture to advertise, recommend, or promote directly the sale of a commercial product or service of any kind” is illegal for the NCAA’s athletes.
“Generally speaking, a college athlete or prospect paid for use of their athletics reputation or ability risks their future eligibility in that sport,” an NCAA source told Yahoo Sports on this situation. “This includes profiting from the sale of items bearing the young person’s name. NCAA rules, however, do allow prospects to promote commercial products prior to enrollment provided it is not for pay.”
LaVar Ball quickly fired back stating that his son does not need the UCLA Bruins to improve and get strong, signalling a possible battle with the NCAA when the time comes.
“We’ll worry about it when we get there,” the Ball patriarch told ESPN. “Who cares? If he can’t play, then he can’t play. It doesn’t mean he’ll stop working out and getting better.”
LiAngelo is now the only Ball brother without a signature shoe. With the middle Ball heading to UCLA this upcoming year, one would wonder if LaVar has any other surprises up his sleeve.