LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball have started to explore options to sign internationally, sources told Yahoo Sports.
LiAngelo and UCLA parted ways officially on Monday, which marked the start of his preparation for his professional basketball career. Harrison Gaines, the representative for LaMelo, 16, and LiAngelo, 19, started initial contact with overseas teams this week, sources told Yahoo Sports.
For LaMelo and LiAngelo, the decision to turn pro means the end of their prospective collegiate careers. LaMelo Ball had previously committed to UCLA.
The international marketplace in China and Europe was difficult in free agency over the summer, and remains so because teams have started their seasons and have limited roster availability. LaMelo and LiAngelo — the younger brothers of Los Angeles Lakers starting point guard Lonzo Ball — have plenty of name recognition and accolades as they attempt to find professional landing spots ahead of their NBA draft turns.
LaMelo and LiAngelo starred at Chino Hills High School in California, where LaMelo scored 92 points in February and LiAngelo had a 72-point game last December. Both joined Lonzo to lead Chino Hills to a state championship in 2016. LaMelo, who left Chino Hills before his junior season this year to be home-schooled, is considered a legitimate pro prospect and a consensus top-10 player in the class of 2019.
LiAngelo and UCLA teammates Cody Riley and Jordan Hill were involved in a shoplifting incident in China in Novemberand received indefinite suspensions. The three players apologized once they returned to the United States, and LiAngelo left the UCLA campus recently to focus on his training, sources said.